Before Truth: Lonergan, Aquinas, and the Problem of Wisdom

by Jeremy Wilkins
Catholic University of America Press, 2018
eISBN: 978-0-8132-3148-8, Cloth: 978-0-8132-3147-1

ABOUT THIS BOOK
It’s frequently said that we live in a “post-truth” age. That obviously can’t be true, but it does name a real problem on our hands. Getting things right is hard, especially if they’re complicated. It takes preparation, diligence, and honesty. Wisdom, according to Thomas Aquinas, is the quality of right judgment. This book is about the problem of becoming wise, the problem “before truth.” It is about that problem particularly as it comes up for religious, philosophical, and theological truth claims. Before Truth: Lonergan, Aquinas, and the Problem of Wisdom proposes that Bernard Lonergan’s approach to these problems can help us become wise. One of the special problems facing Christian believers today is our awareness of how much our tradition has developed. This development has occurred along a path shot through with contingencies. Theologians have to be able to articulate how and why doctrines, institutions, and practices that have developed—and are still developing—should nevertheless be worthy of our assent and devotion.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Prelude
1. Apprehensions and Misapprehensions
Quarantine
The Subversive
The Paradox
The Real Import
2. A Crisis of Normativity
Science and History
Scientism and Historicism
The Crisis of Christian Thought and Culture
Conclusion
Part 1 - Wisdom as Subject
3. A 'Wisdom of the Concrete'
Wisdom as Self-Surrender
The Question of God
Wisdom as Self-Knowledge and Self-Appropriation
Conclusion
4. Aquinas and Lonergan's Turn to the Subject
Discovery
An 'Introspective' Reading
The 'Logico-Ontological Parallel'
Self-Presence and Self-Knowledge
Conclusion
5. Self-Appropriation as First Philosophy
An Essay in Aid of Rational Self-Appropriation
Completing the Circle
Metaphysics in Practice
Clarification by Contrast
Conclusion
6. Foundational Methodology and Theology
The Notion of Developing Sciences
Transposing Paradigms
Foundational Methodology and the Control of Meaning
Theology as Functional Collaboration
Specialties and Specialists
Transformation and Continuity in Theological Method
Conclusion
Entr'acte
Part 2 - Wisdom as Object
7. Doctrine and Meaning
Narrative and Symbollic Meaning
Propositional Meaning
Systematic Meaning
Dogma and Truth
Dialectic: Process and Analysis
Doctrine in Ongoing Contexts
8. Systematics and Systematicians
Rahner's Critique and Its Context
Three Problems of Order
Systematic Order
Hypothesis and Verification
Necessity and Analogy
Contingency and Fittingness
Conclusion
9. Wisdom Incarnate
The Question
Doctrine and Theory: Interdependent Contexts
Winds of Change
Contemplata aliis tradere: The Vocation of Christ
The Silence of Eternity
Development from Above
Interpreted by Love
Conclusion
Conclusion and Epilogue
Works Cited
Subject Index
Index of Names

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