THE CROSS, NARRATIVE, AND INTERIORITY: A DIALECTICAL COMPARISON BETWEEN THEOLOGIANS OF THE CROSS AND BERNARD LONERGAN
Two questions motivate this research: how does theology confront the problem of loneliness? and what theology would integrate faith and justice? The answer to the first question is that theologians confront loneliness in different ways. On the one hand, Moltmann and Jungel speak of loneliness solely from the religious viewpoint. They call it forsakenness and the absence of God and propose a religious solution. Their solution is to change the traditional concept of a theistic God to a God Who suffers. In their theologies of the Crucified they posit a discontinuity between faith and culture. An alternative to handling loneliness from solely a religious perspective would be found in theologians who seek solutions through interdisciplinary collaboration. Metz and Lonergan, though they are not directly concerned with loneliness, do confront the modern crisis that begets the feeling of loneliness. In their efforts to meet this crisis they strive to cooperate with and enlist other disciplines. They affirm a continuity between religion and culture. For them the religious crisis is derived from the cultural crisis. Therefore they seek a resolution of both through interdisciplinary cooperation. A dialectical comparison between these alternative theological approaches is set up in the dissertation. For such a dialogue salient points are selected from the theologies of each theologian. However, the comparison is based, not so much on the content, as on the control of meaning in each theology. The control of meaning is explained briefly in the first chapter through Lamb's typology. In Jungel faith controls the meaning. Moltmann oscillates between faith and praxis as the control of meaning. The religious perspective is primary. In Metz and Lonergan praxis controls the meaning, although faith and theory enjoy prominent roles. The dialogue begins with Moltmann and Lonergan. Moltmann strives to rediscover a religious identity in the cross of Christ. He contends that the cross reveals a death in God which all three Persons undergo without ceasing to live. Thus the crucified God reveals Self as triune. Lonergan views the present crisis as primarily cultural and derivatively religious. The shift from the classical notion of culture to modern culture has disrupted the continuity between faith and culture. Lonergan proposes an accompanying shift in philosophy from logic to method in order to retrieve an integration of faith and culture. Jungel, more emphatically than Moltmann, considers the modern problem of atheism from a religious viewpoint. He proposes changes in the theistic concept of God. Based on a notion of Jesus as Parable he proposes an analogy of faith and a narrative theology that tells the story of God's humanness. Lonergan develops a notion of polymorphic consciousness as the experience of subject as subject. This notion helps in the understanding of Christ as one identity with two subjectivities. Based on this understanding of Christ an analogy of consciousness can be articulated. This analogy of interiority is founded on Jung's process of individuation. Doran's notion of psychic conversion is proposed which evinces a complementarity between theology and psychology. This interdisciplinary collaboration resembles the collaboration that Metz initiates between theology and politics. Metz's narrative-political theology like Lonergan's method places a primacy on praxis as the control of meaning. A theology in which the control of meaning is praxis and which works at interdisciplinary cooperation mediates not only faith and culture, but also faith and justice.
ROBERT EDWARD MAJZLER,
"THE CROSS, NARRATIVE, AND INTERIORITY: A DIALECTICAL COMPARISON BETWEEN THEOLOGIANS OF THE CROSS AND BERNARD LONERGAN"
(January 1, 1980).
Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations.