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Lonergan scholar Fr. Ivo Coelho 'makes sense of an anomaly in Insight' at Boston


By Chris Valentino
Fr. Ivo Coelho, sdb (inset) and his acclaimed ``Hermeneutics and Method; The Universal Viewpoint in Bernard Lonergan``
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Abroad, Jun. 23. Indian Salesian Fr. Ivo Coelho- an international expert on philosopher-theologian-economist Bernard Lonergan, SJ - participated and presented a paper at the 39th Annual Lonergan Workshop at Boston College from June 17-22, 2012.  This edition of the Lonergan Workshop celebrated the ''Promise and the Challenge of Vatican II - 50 years later'' while paying homage to Fr Frederick E. Crowe, SJ  (leading light in Lonergan studies, who passed away earlier this year).
Fr. Coelho presented ''In Some Sense Transcendence or Supernatural': Making Sense of an Anomaly in Chapter 20 of Insight''- a technical paper trying to make sense of the anomaly of a ''natural solution to the problem of evil that is in some sense supernatural.''

Having recourse to Lonergan's early Latin theology and his later view of the religions as all somehow rooted in God's gift of his love, without excluding the possibility that some of them may, as far as their beliefs are concerned, remain completely within what used to be called 'natural truths,' the paper managed to generate a vibrant discussion despite its extreme technicality as an exegesis of Lonergan.

Fr Coelho says ''this was perhaps because of the concluding remarks about the place of consent in religious conversion. Lonergan, following Aquinas, speaks of the infused virtue of charity in terms of mutual love and friendship; I had asked whether the gift of God's love might not itself be considered in some way as the gift of a response. The responses made it clear, as Aquinas himself makes it clear, that falling in love - the analogy for the operative moment, the gift of God's love - is itself something overwhelming, but that we can in a subsequent moment accept or else mysteriously reject it.''

The other papers by Lonergan research scholars such as Francis A. Sullivan, SJ; Robert Imbelli, Michael McCarthy, John Dadosky, Grant Kaplan, Richard Liddy, and Gerard Whelan, SJ focused quite specifically on the Vatican Council II and its implementation. Another set of papers dealt with Concillar themes while some other papers dealt with people connected with the council. Yet other papers were presented in the category of Lonergan exegesis, but still very much connected to the Council. Evaristus Ekwueme SJ, presented a ''Lonerganian View of Information Technology.''

According to Fr. Coelho ''the Workshop reflected rather strongly the tense undercurrents in the American church in particular and even the church in general about the direction and the implementation of the Council. But I come away with the feeling that Lonergan does have creative ways of responding precisely to moments of tension.''

The Workshop (begun when Lonergan was alive), is convened annually by Sue and Fred Lawrence(Lonergan's student at the Pontifical Gregorian University ; a leading hermeneutical philosopher in USA and professor of theology at Boston College).

The next edition of this international workshop is slated to be held in Jerusalem, hopefully, at the Studium Theologicum Salesianum, Ratisbonne Monastery , where Fr Coelho is currently based as its Director.

Detailed Report

Fr. Ivo Coelho's Blogs:
Musings
Philosophical Musings
 
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