Vol 21 No 2 2014

Faith and Feeling in Lonergan

Christopher Friel


I give an interpretation of Lonergan's claim that values are apprehended in feelings. I situate his project within fundamental theology rather than in foundations for ethics arguing that Lonergan was concerned to give an ecumenically conceived apologetic in order to conceive the "leap" of faith. To this end I show how the later work was informed by the 1952 Analysis of Faith. I show how Lonergan drew creatively on his sources: On Scheler he takes up Pascal's "the heart has its reasons" (now in the context of the value of believing) and on Hildebrand he takes up the self-transcendence of the value-response. I offer a new perspective on the emotional element of intentionality in Lonergan and suggest that fears of anti-intellectualism stem from a concern to situate his emotional phenomenology primarily within ethics.