The plan of the guide is not to cover everything in the book, but to assign readings of only certain chapters or parts of chapters. This will allow readers to make their way through a first reading without becoming distracted.
The author provides a summary of each chapter and questions for reflection.
-- makes Lonergan accessible to non-professionals.
-- is an important teaching tool.
-- is reader-friendly.
Advancing the work of Lonergan, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas, The Trinity in History also enters into conversation with contemporary philosophical emphases, especially with the mimetic theory of noted anthropological philosopher René Girard. Doran suggests several refinements of Lonergan’s notion of functional specialization – developing a perspective for including the data of various religious traditions in theological construction, and establishing this theory’s relevance for contemporary interreligious dialogue.
In this book, Brian Cronin suggests using the method of introspective description to identify the characteristics of the act of human understanding and knowing. Introspection--far from being private and unverifiable--can be public, communal, and verifiable. If we can describe our dreams and our feelings, then, we can describe our acts of understanding. Using concrete examples, one can identify the activities involved--namely, questioning, researching, getting an idea, expressing a concept, reflecting on the evidence and inferring a conclusion. Each of these activities can be described clearly and in great detail. If we perform these activities well, we can understand and know both truth and value. The text invites readers to verify each and every statement in their own experience of understanding. This is a detailed and verifiable account of human knowing: an extremely valuable contribution to philosophy and a solution to the foundational problem of knowing.
Philosophical and Theological Papers 1965-1980 is divided into five sections, forming units on the basis of dates. The three central sections are each a set of lectures respectively given at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gonzaga University in Spokane, and Trinity College (University of Toronto). Although there is some repetition amongst the lecture sets and in relation to other more familiar works, this repetition displays occasional new turns of phrase that the careful reader will note. In at least one instance, familiar material suddenly opens out onto expressions not to be found anywhere else in Lonergan's work. Other very interesting developments regard the movement from speaking of the immutability of dogmas to their permanence of meaning and the permutations among 'real self-transcendence,' 'performative self-transcendence,' and 'moral self-transcendence.'
Bracken first answers objections to the possibility of developing a new metaphysics in our postmodern age. He then lays out the "vertical" and "horizontal" dimensions of his new metaphysical scheme, a constructive perspective that results in a consciously communitarian understanding of the God-world relationship. The uniqueness of Bracken's position is its advocacy of a strictly "social ontology" in which the classical relationship of the One and the Many is reversed -- not the transcendence of the One over the Many but its emergence out of the Many in dynamic relationship.