Insight, Method, and the Trinity

Insight, Method, and the Trinity

A series of courses will investigate the nature of theology through an unpacking of its methodological structure by reflecting upon the heuristic notions, structures and cognitive operations required to do Trinitarian theology.  Each course will investigate a central question, meet for 7 times, and last approximately 14 – 16 weeks.  As a whole, the courses will form an ordered sequence. Tentatively, the plan will be the following.

Course 1: Conscious-Intentional Operations and Transcendental Method

  • Class 1, February 15, 2014: Introduction
  • Class 2, April 5, 2014:  (Podcast)  The Nature of Method and key questions about the method relevant for Trinitarian Theology. The podcast quality is medium. It is best of the seminary leader — Dr. Fleischacker.  This will be improved for the future.
  • Class 3, April 12, 2014:  (Podcast) Introducing the five senses, imagination, memory, emotions, and the world of immediacy.
  • Class 4, May 10, 2014: (Podcast) Introducing understanding and judgment and how these differentiate two sets of questions about the Holy Trinity.
  • Class 5, May 31, 2014: (Podcast) Questions for Reflection, Reflective Insight, Judgment, parallel to insight and conception, likeness of conception to insight and judgment to reflective insight.
  • Class 6, June 7, 2014: (Podcast)  Question for deliberation, feelings that are intentional responses to values, judgment of value, decision in relation to knowledge, understanding, and experience.  Trinitarian analogies and further differentiatons of the tasks of theology based on differentiations of the operations within interiority.
  • Class 7: June 28, 2014: (Podcast) Last class of this first course. Distinguishing and relating the basic operators and operations of interiority as a whole as the basic terms and relations for sorting out the tasks of theology and developing analogies for understanding the Holy Trinity.

Course 2: The Capacity for Self-Transcendence, the Transcendental Notions, and Heuristic Structures

  • Class 1: Transcendental Notions and Intentional Existence
  • Class 2: November 29, 2014: The capacity for Self-Transcendence and the transcendental notions
    1. St. Augustine, Confessions, Book 7, chapter 8 – 11. (think about the light)
    2. B. Lonergan, Insight, chapter 12, sections 1 – 4. (From desire to know to the notion of being)
    3. B. Lonergan, Method in Theology, 10 – 12, 34 – 36, 101 – 107
  • Class 3: December 12, 2014: (Skypecast) The transcendental notions and operations
  • Class 4: January 3, 2015:  (Skypecast) The actuation of the capacity for self-transcendence
  • Class 5:  January 17, 2015  (Skypecast) The Classical Heuristic Structure
  • Class 6: January 31, 2015:   (Skypecast) The Statistical Heuristic Structure and the Transcendental notions.  Need for understanding dynamic state of being in love with God, economy of salvation, missions of the Son and Holy Spirit.
  • Class 7: February 14, 2015: The Genetic/Developmental Heuristic Structure

Course 3: Metaphysics

  • Class 1: February 28, 2015 (Skypecast) Metaphysics and Theology
  • Class 2: March 14, 2015 (Skypecast) Definition of Metaphysics and other points….
  • Class 3: April 4, 2015 (Skypecast) Method of Metaphysics
  • Class 4: (Skypecast or podcast) Elements of Metaphysics
  • Class 5: (Skypecast) Metaphysics as Science
  • Class 6: Metaphysics as Dialectic
  • Class 7: (Podcast) Metaphysics in Theological Method and in Theological Discoveries


Course 4: The Human Good, The Good of Creation, and the Divine Good

  • Class 1: November 14, 2015 (Podcast) The Fourth Level: The structure of decision, ranges of particular decisions, and patterns of decisions
  • Class 2: December 5, 2015 (Podcast) (Skypecast) The Horizon of Value — if you want to view the PowerPoint, watch the Skypecast. I would be happy to send a copy of it as well if you email me at
  • Class 3: Creation as Good
  • Class 4: The Human Good
  • Class 5: The Good that Develops
  • Class 6: Analogy, The Good, and God
  • Class 7: Trinitarian Theology and the Good

Course 5: Meaning

Course 6: The nature of religion

Course 7: Functional Specialization: Part 1 Mediating Theology

Course 8: Functional Specialization: Part 2 Mediated Theology

Course 9: Metaphysics and Functionally Specialized Theology

Course 10: Ethics and Functionally Specialized Theology

Course 11: Religion and Theology, with special focus on ecclesiology

Course 12: The Theological Community

This first course seminar will begin February 22th from 10:30 am – Noon.  It will be held at the Lonergan Institute in Washington, D.C., and moderated by Dr. David Fleischacker via Skype.  Skype access is for participants is possible.  You do not need to intend to participate in all courses in order to begin.

The primary texts used throughout the courses will be

  1. Triune God, volumes 1 and 2.
  2. Method in Theology
  3. Insight
  4. Early Works on Theological Method, volumes 1, 2, and 3
  5. Philosophical and Theological Papers, 1958 – 1964 and 1965 – 1980
  6. St. Augustine’s De Trinitate
  7. St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica.