Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The International Institute for Method in Theology: A Vision

As I have spoken about before in this space, I have the honour of being involved in the development of the International Institute for Method in Theology. It is the next logical step in working out Lonergan’s legacy. Since 1985, much energy in the field of Lonergan studies has been directed at editing and publishing his collected works. This project should be completed by the end of 2020, when the twenty-fifth and final volume in the collection is published. With this project coming to an end, it is time for Lonergan scholarship to turn its attention more fully to the work of promoting, developing, and implementing Lonergan’s thought. The IIMT constitutes a network of institutions and scholars that are working together towards this aim, and indeed towards the broader aim of thinking theologically about a host of contemporary issues (wherein “contemporary” should be taken to include the contemporary study of ancient texts and peoples. And not just biblical texts and the peoples who produced them: although of course they will always occupy a particular pride of place in the work of Christian theology, in principle the lives and thought of all ancient peoples can provide theological insight). At present, the IIMT’s sponsoring agencies consist of the Lonergan Project at Marquette University, the Lonergan Research Institute of Regis College in the University of Toronto, and the Gregorian University in Rome. The scope of this work however is truly international, including scholars from geographically as far from North America and Europe as Australia. It truly is an honour to be labouring in such august company.

Robert Doran--Emmett Doerr Chair of Catholic Systematic Theology at Marquette University, General Editor of the Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, and author of (among other works) the really quite remarkable Theology and the Dialectics of History--is integral to this initiative, as he has been to the preservation, promotion, development, and implementation of Lonergan's thought for the better part of half a century. He has graciously made available online the transcript of a talk that he gave back in March, "The International Institute for Method in Theology: A Vision." It provides a wealth of material not only on this initiative, but on the institutional history of Lonergan studies. Definitely worth a read.

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