Lonergan Centre
Telephone: 613-236-1393
Ext. 2347
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Lonergan Reading Group

Each year, the Lonergan Centre hosts a reading group that discusses various topics inspired by the writings of Bernard Lonergan. We place Lonergan's thought in dialogue with contemporary issues in various academic fields (including theology, philosophy, conflict, economics, and business) and create a forum for professors and students to participate in lively exchanges outside the formal boundaries of the classroom.

2012/2013 Topics: Book: Transforming Light (Fall) and Masters Research Projects (Winter) 

  • Facilitators and their Topics:

Amy Pauley (Transforming Light); Elisabeth J. Nicholson ( Religious Conversion); Tom McAuley (The Common Good ); Susan Gray ( Social Structures in Decline and Fear/Bias)

  •  Dates in 2013: 18 January; 1 and 15 February; 1 and 15 March; 5 and 19 April.
  • Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Room: 50 (Guigues Hall)

2010–2011 Topic: The Aesthetic and Intellectual Patterns of Experience

  • Facilitator: Dr. James Pambrun (Saint Paul University, Faculty of Theology)  

Lonergan’s remarks on the nature of human consciousness as polymorphic are both intriguing and suggestive. He suggests that the key to developing an adequate contemporary philosophy is to wrestle with the fact that different patterns of experience orient our thinking and doing. In Insight, Lonergan identifies six patterns of experience: biological, aesthetic, dramatic, practical, intellectual, and mystical. This year’s Lonergan Reading Group focused on one of these patterns: the aesthetic. Our interest was in how different patterns of experience give rise to different methods and approaches in theology, and we examined the works of Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar as examples. We also discussed what is involved in aesthetic experience, how the cognitional operations unfold in distinctive ways in this pattern, and what might be involved in judgments of artistic value.

2009–2010 Topic: Doctrinal Pluralism and Development 

  • Facilitator: Dr. Catherine Clifford (Saint Paul University, Faculty of Theology)

Drawing on Dr. Clifford’s work on ecumenical dialogue, we posed questions on how Lonergan’s work could help understand how different expressions of churches can be rooted in a common Christian faith. A guiding question was how to recognize authentic doctrinal development. We discussed a draft essay prepared by Dr. Clifford, "Ecumenical Dialogue and the Development of Doctrine." Our discussions were guided by Lonergan’s essay "Doctrinal Pluralism," from Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan: Volume 17, Philosophical and Theological Papers 1965–1980 (2004).