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The Ken Melchin Interview

In celebration of the first anniversary of the Lonergan Web Site, we present this interview with Dr. Kenneth R. Melchin. Dr. Melchin is Professor of Theology in Ethics at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. In 1987 he published his doctoral thesis History, Ethics and Emergent Probability: Ethics, Society and History in the Work of Bernard Lonergan (Lanham:University Press of America). He wrote two important essays in moral theology published in Theological Studies; "Revisionist, Deontologists and the Structure of Moral Understanding" 51(1990):389-416 and "Moral Knowledge and the Structure of Cooperative Living" 52(1991):495-523. His recent writings include "Pluralism, Conflict and the Structure of the Public Good" in The Promise of Critical Theology: Essays in Honour of Charles Davis, ed Marc P. Lalonde, (Waterloo:Wilfrid Laurier Press) 1995 and "Economics, Ethics and the Structure of Social Living" Humanomics 10 (1994):21-57. His new book Living with Other People: A Common Good Approach to Christian Ethics (Novalis:Ottawa) will be published in the fall of 1997. He is a regular presenter at the Lonergan Workshop in Boston. We sat down with Dr. Melchin in the afternoon of Wednesday March 19, 1997. Those responsible for this interview are Paul Allen, Christine Jamieson, and Peter Monette. © 1997, All Rights Reserved.

Part One: The Early Years

When were you first introduced to Lonergan's work?

When I was studying theology at Loyola [College], Concordia University in Montreal in 1975, I first got an introduction to Lonergan in a course that I took from a fellow named Malcolm Spicer. I didn't understand a thing, not a single thing. I had to read the essay on "functional specialities" in Method in Theology(1) and I didn't understand a thing. My second introduction to Lonergan was when I graduated with my Bachelor's in theology in 1977. Bernard Lonergan gave the convocation address and I remember being there with my parents. Bernard Lonergan's presence there was a big event.

Was this at the Lonergan College?

No, the Lonergan College hadn't been formed at this point. My mentor, Sean McEvenue, whose life and whose work in scripture studies had been dramatically transformed by Lonergan's work, had dropped the name Lonergan on a number of occasions to me. He invited Bernard Lonergan to the convocation that year. Lonergan gave the convocation address, but I didn't understand a single thing, not a single thing that he said. So then I went on to my master's and my doctoral work which were in the Department of Religion in Concordia University. After completing my first year of doctoral studies, 1978-79, my intention was to do my doctorate in the social ethics of Gibson Winter. After my first year of courses I discovered enough about Gibson Winter to know that that wasn't going to be as rich and as strong and as powerful a theoretical tool as I had hoped. There were holes and there were gaps, and I was casting about to decide if I were to shift direction what direction, where would I turn. My mentor and friend, Sean McEvenue, said to me "You should do Lonergan...and oh, by the way, next year we are opening Lonergan College." (This was 1979, I think.) "And one of the greatest living Lonergan scholars, Philip McShane will be here for the year. You could work with him and you might be able to get Charles Davis, (who was in the Department of Religion at the time who knew something of Lonergan's work and had written and published on Lonergan) to direct your thesis." As I told you before, I didn't understand a thing about Lonergan, so I was flying blind. But I said yes. So my introduction to Lonergan was during that year of 1979. I did a course with McShane, I did a colloquium reading Insight(2) under Charles Davis and I did a reading course on Verbum(3), with Charles Davis. But I would have to say my introduction to Lonergan was with Phil McShane. He really introduced me to Lonergan. His approach was self-appropriation rather than a reading of texts.

How was Philip McShane influential in your understanding of Lonergan's work?

Well, McShane's work, as you know, is enigmatic and provocative. He deliberately tries to shift your attention away from the text and back to yourself. That's the way McShane teaches, that's the way he works. The introduction to Lonergan by McShane was not through a reading of texts but through a set of activities of self-appropriation in which McShane goaded, provoked, at times one might even say humiliated us into attending to the self in act. That was my introduction to Lonergan at the hand of Phil McShane. The basic thing that happened was a series of discoveries that are just unparalleled.

What would you consider to be the most significant aspect of Lonergan's work?

The most significant aspect is that it introduces me to myself. It allows an understanding of self that changes everything. The most important thing for me was that I discovered that the basic assumption that I had about just about everything was wrong. About understanding, about the material world, about reality, that just about every aspect of the way I thought about everything and which informed my line of questioning was wrong; that matter doesn't exist; that spirit is the one thing that does exist; that rather than trying to understand spirit through the analogy of matter (which will always mislead you about everything), that if you give up on the notion of matter, to understand the structure of spirit, you will come to a better understanding of matter!

By spirit do you mean spirit of inquiry, the spirit of the mind or....

Well, I would say that the spirit is what happens when you get an insight. It's the emergence of intelligibility. It's in the realm of the spiritual in the sense of intelligibility. Not necessarily the religious dimension, but eventually it's what helps you understand what the religious dimension is all about.

Part Two: Lonergan and Economics

How is Lonergan's work in economics significant? For example, aren't the insights in circulation already well known in economics?

Boy that's one of the toughest questions. I read the (economics) Circulation Analysis manuscripts in 1980-81-82, in those years. At that point, the difficulty of working through the Circulation Analysis manuscripts was similar to the difficulty of trying to figure out the difference between matter and spirit. In order to understand the Circulation Analysis manuscripts you have to understand the centrality of forms of relations, rather than, a naive realist notion of institutions, households, firms, and things like that. That having been said, one would imagine that the insights [Lonergan's insights into economics] would not already exist in the field of economics. In fact, the more one reads in the field of economics, the more one realizes how much economics is guided by a whole bunch of materialist presuppositions about reality. So, that would lead one to guess that perhaps those insights do not exist.

I would say two things. First of all, when I worked through the economic analysis manuscripts I was trying to find out what some people understood when they read them and said "Oh well these ideas are already there." I've had the occasion to talk to a couple of economists over the years and I asked them to tell me what they understood Lonergan's economics manuscript to be about. When they did, it confirmed my supposition that, in fact, they had not grasped the principal insights that are articulated in the manuscripts. This actually happened on a number of occasions.

Second, over the last fifteen years, as some of Lonergan's insights into economics have guided my own reading of texts in economics, I've come to realize how powerful they are and why they set up a line of questioning in economics that is extraordinarily fruitful. In fact, they touch directly on a lot of the problems of our age in a way that contemporary lines of analysis don't.

So, is the circulation analysis manuscript an application of Lonergan's basic epistemology in the field of economics; where economics is presently dominated by materialism, now here you have a critical realist approach to economics?

That is the case. I would say yes. Let me give you an example of that.(4) Basic supply and basic demand would lead one right off the bat to suggest that Lonergan's talking about households and firms. But that is not exactly what he is talking about. Because, the fact is, that he's got two circuits. There's a circuit between basic supply and basic demand. Here you have a flow in two directions back and forth between basic supply and basic demand that he has reduplicated again in terms of surplus demand and surplus supply. Well, if you think about basic supply and basic demand as households and firms and then move to the surplus circuit and you ask what are the two places that correspond to surplus supply and surplus demand, you realize that there aren't two places. So you say to yourself, "Well then how can there be a circuit between two places if there aren't two places?" The answer is that in the basic circuit, the circuit between the two functions was not principally a circuit between two places. It's a circuit between two functions. And in the surplus, it's a circuit between two functions of the same people. I realized that the movement from basic supply to surplus demand is an allocation of money to be spent from one kind of function to another. In fact, it can correspond to something as simple as the generation of an appropriation request internally a corporation. For example, the minute you generate an appropriation request, you set aside x number of dollars to perform a completely different function in the economy. Just that generation of an internal memorandum can move millions of dollars from one function in one circuit to a completely different function in a completely different circuit. On the face of it, it would appear that nothing's happened. But the answer is that in fact everything's happened. However, it's the kind of transaction about which Statistics Canada wouldn't gather data. Now, that's not to say that Statistics Canada doesn't have any data at all to these transfers. But there's a whole bunch of kinds of transfers about which they wouldn't get data, because their categories are defined by naive realist categories, rather than critical realist categories.

It sounds like, from what you just said, if you follow it through, that Lonergan's understanding of economics would significantly change, not only the way economics is thought of and is done, but consequently, it would also change the way politics is done?

Oh, absolutely. Let me give you a good example. The big sentence that screams out of the circulation analysis manuscripts (and I'm going to get the sentence badly here) reads something like this - a market is not a mechanism that directs the economy so much as it is a pipeline through which human decisions can direct the economy. When human decisions are informed by insights into the structural relationships between the surplus and the basic circuits, that is, when you happen to be thinking in terms of the dialectic that unfolds(5), your decision making can be responsible. There is a pure cycle that unfolds in the relationship between the two circuits: an expansion at the surplus stage; a contraction at the surplus stage; then an expansion at the basic stage and so forth. This yields a cycle of growth. But, it makes the market a locus where all the decisions of an entire people in the economy, (i.e., the choosing of the transactions that you enter into: whether you buy, what you choose to buy, or whether you choose to invest) are informed not by personal need, not even by maintenance of existing order, but by value. Our decisions impart the appropriate nudges and nuances into the economy such that a transition from one moment to another moment in a cycle does not give rise to a longer cycle of decline. But in order to have that kind of decision making in the market place you have to actually know what the economy is doing. Unfortunately, that's the one thing that current economics seems to have failed rather miserably at telling us.

It's like a vicious circle at that stage.

Exactly. So you will have your interventions that radically accelerate decline precisely at the moment when a potential for growth could be coming into play, if decision-making were appropriately informed.

That sounds like a parallel to chapter seven in Insight where decline is perpetuated by insights that people think are correct but in fact are wrong.

That's right. It's the general bias of common sense which, in it's refusal of adequate theory, progressively builds into the empirical situation corresponding deformations that accelerate as they become the experiential basis for the next round of insights.

Part Three: Lonergan and Education

What has Lonergan taught you in terms of pedagogy and how is it manifested in your teaching?

The first thing is the difference between getting people to remember information and getting folks to get insights. I remember one of the most telling comments that Phil McShane ever made to me was when I was struggling through Insight. I was having a terrible time trying to figure out what was going on with all of this tiny print and huge numbers of pages and this thick book. I was looking disparagingly at the prospects of ever making any headway, when page after page involved things where I had no idea what Lonergan was talking about. So I came to McShane one day and I said, "Phil, I'm never going to get anywhere with this, there's so much information and I have such a terrible memory. If I get three pages down the road I don't retain what Lonergan said earlier and I don't think I've got the memory for this." McShane looked at me and his eyes were wide and he smiled and he said, "Oh, then you've got a chance of understanding something." So that's number one, this difference between remembering something and getting insights.

Of course, the most significant insights that you can ever get, that liberate you to understand any realm of being, are insights into yourself because it is the self that experiences, that understands and judges and decides on being. So consequently, self-insights will always be the condition of possibility for insights into the world (as if the world isn't the self, of course). The thing that I have tried to do as a teacher has been to direct all of my teaching toward self-insights with whatever tools and examples that I have had available.

Another thing that I learned, and I learned this as much from McShane as I did from Lonergan, is that when you teach, texts should always be secondary. The principle vehicle of teaching should be the data of experience, which is to say, the data of the student's experience. That's, of course, where professors often go wrong, because the experience of the student, in some cases, may be totally beyond the imaginable horizon of the professor! So the first objective is to try to get some idea of the sorts of anticipations, the open heuristic concepts, that students are using to try to make sense of the words that you are saying. The minute you can figure out how they are misconstruing your words, then you've got a chance of working along with those misconstruals and shifting them towards construals. The only way of doing that is to try to operate on their turf rather than your own. You can use texts as a vehicle, but fundamentally texts are secondary.

The other thing that I learned about teaching that comes from Lonergan, I learned from my mentor Sean McEvenue, is that there is no beginning. You cannot teach by starting at the beginning, because there is no beginning. There is only a middle. The only way to teach is to jump into the middle. If something is truly worth learning, it will wreak havoc with your current ways of thinking; your understanding, judging, and valuing your world. It will totally give rise to a bouleversement; it will overturn your whole way of thinking. Transformations of horizons and conversions are discontinuous. So there is no a, b, c, d, e, f, g, road to learning important things. There is only jumping into the middle of a whole new thing and swimming around. You try to make enough links so that they eventually grab onto the new elements and start functioning with new sets of relations. This I learned most directly from Sean McEvenue, because that's the way he always taught scripture. It was maddening and infuriating at the time, but he did it none the less, and it was extremely effective.

Now what you then have to do as a teacher is to offer the support, the kind of confidence and the consolations for students who feel angry, lost, upset, alienated, and for those feeling that they have to pass exams. So, at a certain point, you have to identify the kinds of transformations that represent highly f-probable obtainable objectives. You can't go for the moon the first shot out. But still there is no beginning that leads to a step 2, step 3, step 4 in learning. There is only a middle that you can jump into and expect all of us together with some measure of solidarity and comradery to be struggling around in.

The other thing I learned is "authentic nascence" as Phil McShane always used to say. There is nothing wrong with a teacher saying, "I have no idea what's going on here at all. I don't know." As a matter of fact, it places students a lot more at ease when they know that the professor doesn't know what is going on and is quite prepared to admit it. That's the beginning of wisdom, rather than admission of failure. So that's a big thing.

And a final thing that I learned is that you never have anything to teach other than who you are. If you ever try to teach anything other than who you are, you will always screw up badly and you will lose the respect of your students.

Part Four: Dr. Melchin's New Book

Can you tell us about your new book Living with Other People: A Common Good Approach to Christian Ethics (to be published fall 1997)?

The book is actually an extremely modest undertaking, so much so that when I set about to write it I was even reluctant to show it to a publisher. I've been teaching this course "Moral Existence" now for 15 years and I arrived at a point where it works rather successfully. But I don't have any texts for the main four, five or six lectures in the middle of it. So I decided, why don't I write essays for these lectures and slap them together for use as a book in the course. My original goal in writing the book was extremely modest, because the course does not represent any breakthroughs. It is just straight Lonergan, although I don't mention Lonergan anywhere, except in the introductory class.

So I set about writing these essays. Part way through, I got into a discussion with a publisher, Novalis in Ottawa. They were in the process of developing a new line of books in which they move to a whole new market, an intelligent lay readership/first year university market -- much like Orbis and Paulist and some of the Liturgical Press series. They approached me and asked if I would actually write this for them in their new series. So I said I would, again, initially agreeing on a fairly modest objective. I told them that what I could do is write up this course text. So I gave them an outline and they said sure. It was Michael O'Hearn who was really quite supportive and encouraging.

In the process of writing the book, I discovered that I had two other objectives that were creeping in. The first was to write a text that could stand alone. The assumption up to that point was that this was going to be a text in a course, so I would always have a chance to clarify stuff that didn't make sense by itself. Could I turn this into a book that stood alone, that was readable from beginning to end? That made the book a little more of a challenge. Now I couldn't tumble into the kind of academic prose that is typical in many of my published articles, a style that might have its own elegance in a certain way, but is certainly not readable by an intelligent lay person or a first year university student. So I had to say, well can this thing work without me being there to explain it in thirty-five different ways?

Then, finally, I started to realize that this was a chance to write a text in ethics on Lonergan. It would be an introductory text in Lonergan's ethics. There doesn't exist such a text - as far as I know anyway. There are many others, like Richard Gula(6) and Steve Happel(7), who have integrated an awful lot of Lonergan stuff into a text. But these are not texts centred in the work of Lonergan. With this third objective, I would now be writing to Lonergan scholars who would be scrutinizing the text with an eye towards whether this was true to Lonergan: could they use this in their courses; could they use this to teach a course on Lonergan's ethics? So that's what the book became. The book is an effort to put these three goals together and to juggle them.

The book ends up as a series of chapters that fall into two sections. First of all, an introduction to the operations of consciousness, the levels of operations. Here I pretty well draw upon McShane's little thing that he develops in the Wealth of Self and Wealth of Nations(8) and which he does again in his book Process(9) - how the operations of insight and judgment are reduplicated at the level that Lonergan came to call the fourth level; insight and judgement, not with respect to fact but with respect to value and action toward the future. In order to develop this I used the little experiment that I believe was originally McShane's -- that's the seagull experiment. I walk the students through it and I do a bit of analysis. Then I do the self-constituting structure, the way in which operations of understanding constitute the subject in patterns of habit and patterns of orientation which subsequently inform the performance of the next round of operations. So there's a chapter on that.

But the main core of the first section is the next chapter. This material is drawn from my articles in Theological Studies - the one on social recurrence schemes and the structure of moral knowledge and also the article in the Humanomics volume on economies and ethics and the structure of moral living. Here I try to analyse how insights into schemes of recurrence help in insights into obligations. In this case they're not just any schemes of recurrence but meaning schemes -- social meaning schemes. Insights into the schemes can yield criteria for judgements of value and disvalue, particularly when you move from static schemes to dynamic schemes that unfold in the directions of progress and decline within ecologies of social schemes. It is this range of insights that can yield criteria for moral evaluation.

Then I use the difference between the good as object of desire, the good as good of order, the good as value to talk about how moral meaning can function on three completely different levels. The levels of moral meaning are levels of the subject as informed in his or her intentionality on the level of experience, or the level of understanding, or the level of judgment. Now of course, all of this not with respect to matters of fact, but they are all subcategories within the fourth level of intentionality. This then yields three different kinds of moral discourse. I then talk a little bit about moral growth as the capacity to function more and more fully on the higher rather than the lower levels, in wider and wider circles of human experience.

In the second half of the book, I start taking on the problem of Christian faith and ethics. What has faith got to do with ethics? Principally I use chapter seven of Insight and chapter twenty of Insight. Fundamentally faith is about redemption in Christ and redemption in Christ is the response to human sinfulness. You can't get your mind around the problem of human sinfulness until you recognize the character of structural sin. That's what chapter seven of Insight is all about. It's about the way in which emergent structures in history, society, and civilization (which, at the time, Lonergan was working out in discussion with folks like Toynbee and Voeglin) can emerge quite without any individual's planning them. But they're still structures of meaning and they're structures within which the operations of human consciousness are the significant elements and the significant players in the schemes and the ecologies of schemes. However, the dynamics of the structures (as Lonergan said I believe in Topics of Education(10), and in Insight, chapter seven) emerge silently, like the seed germinating, beyond the scrutiny of anybody in society. You have to understand sinfulness as structures of sinfulness rather than just the bad things that people intentionally do.

The amazing thing about chapter seven of Insight is that individual bias is the least problematic form of human sinfulness, because it has to contend with both spontaneous intersubjectivity and the practical routines of common sense. Both of them find human sociality in those two forms as adversaries. Whereas group bias and general bias are far more problematic forms. Consequently, once you realize that sin is about structural sin, sin of the world, and you also start coming to terms with the radicality of moral impotence, then grace becomes the urgent response to the problem of why eventually liberalism and the Marxian views are both radically naive. They suppose that somehow the longer ranges of decline would be self correcting. That's precisely what you realize does not happen. And so consequently, faith emerges as an encounter, not of a hope or a possibility, but the reality of God's grace already operative, already undoing decline, already constituting subjectivity in love, in hope and as Lonergan said, in the rehabilitation of truth in faith. None of these is grounded in humanity's ability to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, à la Pelagius (a form of moral callisthenics or aerobics). Rather, it is the recognition that it's God's grace that's at work.

Then, what I do in the last chapter, is to start sketching some notions about how faith informs moral deliberation and decision-making. I take a bunch of shots in the dark on notions of justice, the dignity of the person, the common good, and the preferential option for the poor, to try to understand how they're rooted in the doctrine of redemption, rather than a kind of social contract or something like that. I argue that there is a heuristic that informs the process of moral inquiry when faith is at work. Faith is note a kind of machine that spits out obligations, categories, or concrete obligations. So there you go, that's what the book is about.

Part Five: Lonergan and Contemporary Philosophy

Why hasn't Lonergan's work been taken up by main stream philosophy or theology?

Because the core of Lonergan's work requires the one thing that philosophy, particularly in these decades of the 20th century, has progressively proclaimed impossible and irrelevant. That is, knowledge of self in act (self-appropriation) and the knowledge of truth about the self in act. These are two things that, in my view, philosophy has decided that can't be attained and therefore are beside the point. In order to take up Lonergan, you have to hold an awful lot of the work in philosophy right now in suspension and inquire whether there is an empirical basis for the truth about the mind that can be had in attention to self in act. That's a fairly difficult thing to do if you've spent your life as a philosopher supposing that that's both impossible and beside the point.

The other thing is that there is a tendency to construe the attention to self as individualism or subjectivism. These are conceived more and more as the reasons why Western civilization has gone wrong -- whether it be individualism, whether it be subjectivism, whether it be the metaphysics that is critiqued in the effort to get beyond metaphysics à la Habermas and others. The assumption is that Lonergan belongs to that thing that everyone wants to get beyond. The fact of the matter is that Lonergan does not belong to that thing that everyone wants to get beyond. Lonergan belongs to something else. You have to figure that out. But that's one thing, on the face of it, that doesn't appear to be the case.

The other thing is that it is very, very, very hard to read Lonergan. Most of us read Heidegger because we've had to read Heidegger in our graduate studies. Now Heidegger is very hard to read. So it takes a tremendous amount of social pressure, like the fact that you can't get a grade and therefore you can't get your degree unless you pass a course on Heidegger. This is a fairly formidable social pressure, I would say. To actually read something that is that difficult and that is so against-the-grain [i.e., Lonergan's work] that once you get out of grad school, there is no social pressure to do it. And so why would you do it? The only time that you are going to encounter the social pressure to do it is if the entire department or faculty that you are in has decided that you have to wrestle with this in a complete and thorough way in order for you to get your degree. That's the one thing that hardly ever happens.

Part Six: The Future of Lonergan Studies

What area of Lonergan's work is yet to be developed?

Oh, all of it. So much of Lonergan's stuff is just shooting from the hip on the basis of extraordinary breathtaking, long range, radically new, open heuristic concepts. Who was it that was telling me...I think it was in a conversation with Phil McShane...that Lonergan had to dash off Method in Theology because he wasn't well or because he had to finish the task in order to get on to something else . . .I'm not a biographer . . . I've often felt when I read Method, that this is an infinitely complex book, much, much harder than Insight, but it's packaged in deceptively simple terminology. There is so much unfinished business in Method in Theology. McShane always used to tell me about his discussions with Lonergan as to whether or not the implementation of some of these insights of Lonergan was going to take three hundred years or three million years!! I don't know, I'm not prepared to come down on one or the other side. But you've got an idea about how much McShane seems to think needs to be done. I guess there are two questions. One is the development and second of all is the implementation. There won't be any development without implementation. It's when you try these things out that you start realizing that a whole bunch of further differentiations have to be made. So, in terms of implementation, I don't know whether I come down with Lonergan with three hundred years or with McShane with three million years.

Where would you see the future direction of Lonergan studies in 50 years or the next century?

I'm starting to see more and more Lonergan scholars teaching more and more students at an earlier and earlier level. This is all a good thing. But one of the dangers [is] that you end up with people reading texts and teaching texts, rather than mentoring the self-appropriation activities. There is no substitute for mentoring self-appropriation activities. Without that, all the texts and all the words and all the pages in all the books are just junk. So whatever it is that has to happen, that [mentoring self-appropriation] has to happen. I think that can happen at a very young age. It is possible to work with very young children (when I say very young I mean elementary school children) in the activities of self-appropriation. You do so differently at different times of life, with respect to different kinds of operations, and with respect to different kinds of self-insight. So now we are talking about where I think it should go. There should be lots of mentoring self-appropriation at all stages of education; elementary school, secondary school, post-secondary school.

I think another thing that I can see happening, to a small degree, involves the people who have to wrestle with the monstrous problems in society right now; people who actually work in spheres of life where they have to grapple, day after day, with horrifically huge social problems: problems of the economy; problems of unemployment; problems of huge gaps between the rich and the poor; problems of dysfunctional families; problems of dysfunctional neighbourhoods, etc. etc. When people get exhausted with the impotence of extant ideas and theories they are willing to try new ways of thinking. Folks who work with Lonergan's ideas can start introducing new kinds of analyses that open up new possibilities that can be implemented (sometimes that takes more than one exhausted functionary or business person). These ideas can find a fertile soil in a totally exhausted group of people who are charged with the enterprise of wrestling day to day with gigantic human problems. When that fertile soil meets some of the new insights and some of the new ways of thinking from Lonergan, I think then there can be a receptivity to Lonergan's work by these people at the level of policy.

Probably, in the final analysis the most significant road is going to be the Christian community. I think grace is going to be the main factor in the reversal of bias, but it is also going to be the locus for Lonergan's work. Folks like Sebastian Moore and others whose work is informed by Lonergan capture the vitality of the extraordinary transformative force of grace in one's life. Their writing will be socially significant as it becomes celebrated and lived in religious experience. Also, the transformed heart opens up opportunities for the transformation of the mind. I guess that's really where I hold out the most hope. Where new forms of social living, new forms of religious life, will emerge, I don't know. I understand there is some pretty terrific work that is going on at the Woodstock centre in Georgetown University. Probably in the long run it's going to be in the life of faith, in the ecclesial life of people, that this stuff is going to speak the loudest.

Thank you Ken for your time and your thoughts today.

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1. Bernard Lonergan, Method in Theology, Minneapolis: Seabury / Winston Press, 1979 (1972).

2. Bernard Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, London: Longmas, Green and Co. Ltd., 1967 (1957).

3. Bernard Lonergan, Verbum: Word and Idea in Aquinas, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997 (1967).

4. Editor's Note: At this point in the conversation Dr. Melchin referred to the diagram on page 331 by Patrick Byrne in his article "Economic Transformations: The Role of Conversions and Culture in the Transformations of Economics" in Religion and Culture: Essays in Honor of Bernard Lonergan, Timothy Fallon and Philip Boo Riley, eds., Albany: SUNY Press, 1987, pp. 327-348.

5. Editor's Note: At this point Dr. Melchin made the following side comment: "And oh by the way, I've just discovered, or at least I think I've just discovered, that chapter seven in Insight, in completely different words-in a hidden way-presents the dialectic of community as analogous to, or a way, or is an instance of Lonergan working out the same elements that he works out in the pure cycle in the circulation analysis manuscript". We have taken this sentence out of the body of the interview in order to make Dr. Melchin's answer easier to read.

6. Richard Gula, Reason Informed by Faith: Foundations of Catholic Morality, New York: Paulist Press, 1989.

7. Stephen Happel and James Walter, Conversion and Discipleship: A Christian Foundation for Ethics and Doctrine, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986.

8. Philip McShane, Wealth of Self and Wealth of Nations: Self-Axis of the Great Ascent, Washington: University Press of America, 1981 (1975)

9. Philip McShane, Process: Introducing Themselves to Young (Christian) Minders, to be published 1997.

10. Bernard Lonergan, Topics in Education, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993.

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Allen, Paul, Jamieson, Christine and Monette, Peter. The Kenneth Melchin Interview for The Lonergan Web Site 19 April 1997. < > (Your access date).