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Bernard Lonergan

By | December 2006
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Bernard Lonergan was born on the 17th of December 1904 in Buckingham, Quebec. Coming from an Irish background, his family had settled on a small farm in a French-speaking community. His family attended St. Gregory Nazianzen Catholic church and Bernard was instituted into a Catholic boys school named St. Michael's. He was later sent to a boarding school named Loyola College that was situated in Montreal. Lonergan entered the Society of Jesus on July 29th 1922 at age 18. He then taught at Jesuit seminaries in Montreal and Toronto and in the summer of 1933 taught theological studies at the College de l'Immaculee-Conception in Montreal. He went on to teach philosophy and theology in Rome and was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood on July 25th, 1936. One year later he would receive his master degree in Sacred Theology and then pursue a doctorate on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. Through his teachings that became worldwide he "recognized that the crises of modernity call for a thoroughgoing and profound recasting of the ‘method'."

As he became aware of "knowing," he realized that it just meant repeating something like robots from a textbook when talking and meeting with other professors. Something was missing; something that Lonergan figured out was "insight," "the notion of development and the personal dimensions of understanding"(Creamer 53). Lonergan wrote his most well known book, Insight in 1957 which was a study of human understanding and a conquest to "transpose St. Thomas' position to meet the issues of our own day"(Creamer 53). The book is about the intended reader and ways to discover "oneself in oneself." Lonergan wanted to explain how people think and arrive at their conclusions whilst knowing how their methods of reasoning came to those conclusions. He was determined that the ability of individuals to confront and understand themselves is the origin of a more comprehensive knowledge. The truths of the world do not come from...

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