Why Theology Can and Should be Taught at Secular Universities: Lonergan on Intellectual Conversion

Journal of Philosophy of Education 45 (3):527-543 (2011)
Drawing on Bernard Lonergan's Method in Theology (1972) I argue that theology can be taught because personal knowledge, of which it is an instance, is at the heart of academic inquiry; and it should be taught because critical engagement with basic ways of taking one's life as a whole (religion in a broad sense) furnishes a critique of the typical oversights of contemporary culture. The appropriation of one's subjectivity entails an awareness of an existential dialectic that pushes towards a decisive option for affirming the possibility and worth of growth in one's powers of self-determination and self-transcendence. Thus conversion—precisely defined in terms of this dialectic—has moral and intellectual dimensions whose promotion goes to the heart of the academic enterprise. By separating out those disciplines (systematics, for example) which are mediated by the existential stance taken by the scholar, Lonergan allows theology to be seen as one world view among others
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    Immanuel Kant (2007/1951). Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub. Ltd..

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