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This work is unique in more than one way. Crowe knew his subject closely: he was Lonergan's student, colleague, and friend, and clearly he was "hooked for life," as he discretely hints (136), when he first learned about a fresh way of thinking and then watched the unfolding of intellectual discoveries. He had the opportunity to follow L.'s own struggle - literally from the beginning to the end - to bring Catholic theology to the "level of the times." When writing this book, Crowe counted 44 years of reflection on what he heard, read, and assimilated. From such capital the present work was born.

This is not a biography of Lonergan; that is still to be written. Nor is it an Introduction to his ideas, such as Maynell has given us. It is a presentation of the context in which L. lived and worked on both sides of the Atlantic. Even more, it is the saga of an intellectual venture that started with the great vision of Panton Anakephalaiosis (the title of an article in 1935 with reference to the Pauline idea of bringing everything together in Christ) and eventually led to the understanding of the self-structuring dynamism of the intelligence (Insight) and to a new way of theologizing that springs from the experience of the Spirit poured out into the heart of the converted and reflecting subject (Method).

I found Crowe particularly enlightening in explaining L.'s long struggle to assign the correct place to history in the theological enterprise; also I appreciated his nuanced evaluation of Method. This is a work that only Crowe could have written: the passionate dedication to his former teacher is finely balanced by a critically grounded exposition of L.'s development and achievement.
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Author:Orsy, Ladislas
Publication:Theological Studies
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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Next Article:Theological Hermeneutics: Development and Significance.

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