Australian Catholic University student Patrick J. McInerney has successfully defended a dissertation entitled “A Lonergan Approach to Christian Responsibility in Interreligious Relations,” which was prepared under the supervision of Anthony Kelly and Gerard Hall.
‘My thesis is a practical contribution towards interreligious relations. Religious plurality is a major challenge facing church and society at the beginning of the third millennium. In Chapter One I set the context of developments and crises in the twentieth century, and propose that Bernard Lonergan’s theological method provides a way to engage the complex issues involved in interreligious relations… Lonergan’s approach is firmly and securely rooted and yet is open to the concrete reality of the religious other. In Chapter Two I summarize and refine elements of LSN 30:3. September 2009 9 Lonergan’s analysis of the dynamics of consciousness and propose that they from a “common ground” on which believers from different religions might meet. I extend that to the construction and mediation of meaning in Chapter Three, and to religious meaning in Chapter Four. In particular, I use these dynamics to distinguish between “spirituality” and “religion.” I conclude that spirituality forms the “common horizon” in which believers from different religions might meet. In Chapter Five I show how these same dynamics underlie the structural relations between different religions, the personal relations built by dialogue between believers from different religions, and a theology of religious plurality. In Chapter Six I show how familiarity with these dynamics enlightens our understanding of selected core themes in Christian theology… In Chapter Seven I show how Christian revelation sheds light on the dynamics of human consciousness… I conclude that Christians have a particular responsibility in interreligious relations, and sketch some preliminary indications of that responsibility.’ —
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.