This book is based on contributions made to an international conference held in the Pontifical Gregorian University and presents reflections of authors from all five continents. The conference was held to acknowledge the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican II, noting that during this time Lonergan was a professor at the Gregorian.

The reference to “rediscovering Lonergan” in the title stems from a conviction that there is much in Lonergan’s thought that remains relevant to the globalizing world of today and that continues to be important for implementing Vatican II.

The reference to anthropology in the title emerges from a conviction that philosophical and theological anthropology is central to the thought of Lonergan and, at the same time, that it is often the “issue underlying the issues” in debates today both within the Church and in society at large.

The book has a three-fold structure, which echoes the structure of the conference on which it is based. Part 1 explores the anthropology of Lonergan in depth and the method that emerges from it. Part 2 explores three key areas of application: interreligious dialogue; an interdisciplinary approach to the social sciences; and the ethos of Catholic universities. Part 3 presents short summaries of workshops that were held during the conference, where participants describe how they are implementing Lonergan’s method. It concludes with by comments on overlaps between the thought of Lonergan and the pastoral vision of Pope Francis.

This book begins: ”Bernard Lonergan’s social concern took root in 1930 and remained a key factor guiding his intellectual career until he died in 1984”. Succeeding chapters offer a biographical overview of Lonergan’s intellectual development and his interest in articulating how we are called to collaborate with God’s plan to redeem history. The author also suggests that there are two reasons why many students of Lonergan’s thought are not aware of this social concern. First, early in his career Lonergan made a strategic decision to address foundational questions in philosophy and theological method that constituted what he understood to be a “withdrawal from practicality for the sake of practicality”. This decision would lead him to write two books that would make him famous. Insight: A study of Human Understanding (1957) and Method in Theology (1972), but in which his social concern is not immediately evident. Second, by the end of Lonergan’s life his exploration of foundational questions was not complete; it would fall to his disciple, Robert Doran, to both develop this foundational reflection and to make explicit how it should be applied to issues of social concern. The author concentrates on Doran’s Theology and Dialectics of History (1990) and notes how Doran enters into a nuanced engagement with theologies of liberation of Latin America, offers an innovative explanation of an option for the poor; and explains how the “situation” should be a source of systematic theology. The final chapter offers examples of Doran’s theological method being applied in different ways, including by the author when he was pastor of a poor parish in Nairobi. The book concludes with comments on convergences between the thought of Lonergan, Doran, and Pope Francis.
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