BERNARD LONERGAN QUOTES

Canadian philosopher & theologian (1904-1984)

Bernard Lonergan quote

The church always arrives on the scene a little breathless and a little late.

BERNARD LONERGAN, attributed, Quotes for the Journey, Wisdom for the Way

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Total surrender to the demands of the human spirit: be attentive, be intelligent, be reasonable, be responsible, be in love.

BERNARD LONERGAN, Method in Theology

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We do not know God immediately in this life. We know God through creatures, through the creature that each one of us is, through all the rest of creation; or we know God through revelation and the teachings of the church. Our knowledge of God is mediated. It can be mediated by the world of community insofar as we belong to a community in which there is teaching and there are practices of religion. It can be mediated by theory insofar as one's philosophic thought leads one to prove the existence of God, to determine the attributes of God. It can be mediated by one's interiority, and the outstanding example in that field is of course the life of the mystic, in which interiority develops and constitutes, as it were, a means through which God's presence ceases to be an unidentified undertow in one's living.

BERNARD LONERGAN, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan: Philosophical and Theological Papers 1958-1964

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Faith ... is a conscious apprehension of something inevident, something which unlike this desk and this chair is not seen to be there, even if it enters into the fabric of our personal relations to reality with at least as much force, relevance, and moment as things which are seen to be there.

BERNARD LONERGAN, A Second Collection

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Freely the subject makes himself what he is, never in this life is the making finished, always it is in process, always it is a precarious achievement that can slip and fall and shatter.

BERNARD LONERGAN, Gregorianum, 1963

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A personal philosophical experience of moving out of a world of sense and arriving, dazed and disoriented for a while, into a universe of being.

BERNARD LONERGAN, A Second Collection

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Choice is a determinant in personal development ... by my free acts I am making myself.

BERNARD LONERGAN, Understanding and Being

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In philosophy an individual is becoming himself.

BERNARD LONERGAN, attributed, Dictionary of Quotations

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Discovery is new beginning. It is the origin of new rules that supplement, or even supplant, the old. Genius is creative. It is genius precisely because it disregards established routines, because it originates the novelties that will be the routines of the future. Were there rules for discovery, then discoveries would be mere conclusions.

BERNARD LONERGAN, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding

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God is utterly simple; for every composite being necessarily has a cause of its own composition, and so, since God is the first principle of all things, there can be no real composition whatever in God. Now, in an utterly simple being there can be nothing that is not that simple being itself. In God, therefore, whatever really is, is the same as God, is the same as that which is, is the same as that which subsists, and hence necessarily subsists.

BERNARD LONERGAN, "The Real Divine Relations", The Triune God: Systematics

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The fulfilment that is being in love with God is not the product of our knowledge and choice. It is God's gift. Like all being in love, as distinct from particular acts of loving, it is a first principle. So far from resulting from our knowledge and choice, it dismantles and abolishes the horizon within which our knowing and choosing went on, and it sets up a new horizon within which the love of God transvalues our values and the eyes of that love transform our knowing.

BERNARD LONERGAN, A Second Collection

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I would not dispute that, for the child learning to talk, his little world of immediacy comes first, and that the words he uses are only an added grace. But as the child develops into a man, the world of immediacy shrinks into an inconspicuous and not too important corner of the real world, which is a world we know only through the mediation of meaning. Further, there is a man's transformation of his environment, a transformation that is effected through the intentional acts that envisage ends, select means, secure collaborators, direct operations. Finally, besides the transformation of nature, there is man's transformation of man himself; and in this second transformation the role of meaning is not merely directive but also constitutive.

BERNARD LONERGAN, The Lonergan Reader

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The meaning of a smile is, as it were, a meaning that presupposes a situation, a meeting, an encounter, a set of previous personal relationships. It acknowledges the interpersonal situation and adds a further determination, a further constituent, to the present situation. It does not so much describe the subject as reveal him, betray him. There is no deduction from the smile to the person, but by the smile the person becomes, as it were, transparent. He is in communication with another, and that communication is something that antedates the distinction between sign and what is signified, the distinction between the soul that means and the body by which the meaning is expressed.

BERNARD LONERGAN, "Time and Meaning", Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan

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If one denies that, when the meaning is true, then the meant is what is so, one rejects propositional truth. If the rejection is universal, then it is the self-destructive proposition that there are no true propositions. If the rejection is limited to the dogmas, then it is just a roundabout way of saying that all the dogmas are false.

BERNARD LONERGAN, A Second Collection

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For it is in the field where meaning is constitutive that man's freedom reaches its highest point. There too his responsibility is greatest. There there occurs the emergence of his existential subject, finding out for himself that he has to decide for himself what he is to make of himself.

BERNARD LONERGAN, The Lonergan Reader

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It is in the measure that special methods acknowledge their common core in transcendental method, that norms common to all the sciences will be acknowledged, that a secure basis will be attained for tackling interdisciplinary problems, and that the sciences will be mobilized within a higher unity of vocabulary, thought and orientation, in which they will be able to make their quite significant contribution to the solution of fundamental problems.

BERNARD LONERGAN, Method in Theology

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A smile is not true or false in the manner in which a conceptual meaning is true or false. It is truth in the sense in which one can say that a person is true, a thing is true. But it is usually not true in the sense in which a proposition is true or false.

BERNARD LONERGAN, Early Works on Theological Method

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