Regis College student, Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer has successfully defended his dissertation, ‘Envisioning a Methodical Theology of Grace: Exercises in Transposition Spanning the Early and Later Works of Bernard J.F. Lonergan, which was prepared under the supervision of Robert M. Doran S.J. of Marquette University.
‘This dissertation discusses Bernard J.F. Lonergan’s transpositions of several of St Thomas Aquinas’ achievements into the contemporary theological horizon. It also offers an extended reflection on the nature of the task of transposition. Lonergan recognized the importance of integrating Thomist achievement into ongoing efforts for theological development and renewal in the life of the Church. My dissertation attempts to contribute to his efforts for renewal by showing how his intentionality analysis transposes central elements of Thomist rational psychology into the richer context of theological method. Having transposed the Thomist analogy of nature, Lonergan anticipated, I argue, a methodical theology that preserves Aquinas’ understanding of grace. The majority of the dissertation divides into two parts devoted respectively to Lonergan’s transpositions of Aquinas’ theories of intellect and will. Both parts conform in structure to the circle of metaphysics and cognitional theory, which I identify in the first chapter as the structure of transpositions in the context of methodical theology. I argue that transpositions may begin with either metaphysics or determinations from consciousness, because the isomorphism of knowing and being relates the two modes of inquiry regardless of the starting point. The two major parts of the dissertation attempt to perform what I suggest takes place in all methodical transpositions of theoretical theologies, namely, the completion of the circle. The final chapter discusses Lonergan’s transposition of “sanctifying grace” into the category of “being in love unrestrictedly.” It highlights the limits and achievements of the transpositions of Thomist theory and emphasizes the need for further transpositions in the work of constructing a methodical theology of grace.’
Doctoral students are invited to advise us of the completion of their work so we can pass along a congratulatory word and notice of their accomplishment. They are also invited to donate a (bound or unbound) copy of their completed doctoral projects to the LRI library.