Australian Lonergan Workshop 2023

Commemorating 50 Years of Method in Theology

7.00pm Friday 28 April to 3.00pm Sunday 30 April, West Hall, St.Mary’s College,
University of Melbourne, Parkville

An Organon For Our Time: Connecting Theory and Practice

The 2023 Australian Lonergan Workshop celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of Bernard Lonergan’s Method in Theology in which he outlines his discovery of functional specialisation as a new understanding and doing of science.

The theme takes its cue from Fred Crowe’s 1980 Marquette Lecture, Method in Theology: An Organon for our Time. In his lecture, Fred Crowe locates Lonergan’s Method in Theology within the context of two key works that influenced the development of Western science: Aristotle’s Organon (with its focus on logic) and Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum (with its focus on the empirical). He then goes on to suggest that Lonergan is proposing a new Organon, an Organon for the future.

In our Workshop, we will explore the significance of Lonergan’s Method in Theology as a new Organon for the future and what is at stake in bringing theory and practice together.

Download the flyer here.

Download the program here.

ALW2023 flyer2

Tom Daly Oration – an Oration in Honour of Fr Tom Daly, SJ

John Boyd Turner on



so what now?

how do we make a history our children will delight to inherit

how do we make a history giving glory to the Trisagion

Download the flyer for the Tom Daly Oration here.

John Boyd Turner

In late 1963, in answer to his question, John was urged to read Lonergan’s Insight. On the basis offered Lonergan invites his reader to discover project-history in via: compassing all human subjects: light, wisdom, hope, progress confounded by darkness, delusion, despair, violating violence – within the sublating, healing liberating gift of the Trisagion on mission, who draw all into being-in-love.
       From whom descends peace …


Keynote presentation

Dr Jonathan Heaps on “The Springboard to the Future: How to Create a Modern Culture of Credibility and Cooperation “

Bernard Lonergan argued that an empirical view of culture transformed the modern person’s relationship to the past. It is now “the springboard to the future.” Lonergan surmised that this situation calls Christians to an age-old responsibility: “disengagement from a culture that no longer exists and involvement in a distinct culture that has replaced it.” Frederick Crowe characterized Lonergan’s Method in Theology as a “new organon” for unleashing the potential of the past and effecting a new culture of mutual credibility and cooperation. It is a task which requires the collective weight of the whole human community.

Jonathan Heaps specializes in Roman Catholic philosophy and theology. He has published numerous essays on the relationship between embodiment, cognition, and culture, drawing especially on the work of Bernard Lonergan. His research has appeared in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly and Theological Studies. Jonathan is currently investigating the role that embodied contemplative practices (meditation, “mindfulness,” etc.) could play in addressing the problem of verification and method in the humanities and in theology. His first book, The Ambiguity of Being: Bernard Lonergan and the Problems of the Supernatural, will appear in late 2023 or early 2024 from The Catholic University of America Press.

Other presentations

Professor Matthew Ogilvie, University of Notre Dame Australia, on “Biblical Fundamentalism and its Rejection of the New Organon”

Dr Stephen Ames, University of Melbourne on ““Lonergan Applied”

Dr Sean McNelis, Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology, on “Functional collaboration as futurology”

David de Carvalho, CEO Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), on “’Pay attention!’: Simone Weil and Bernard Lonergan in dialogue on the role of attention in education – implications for the next National School Reform Agreement.”

Geoffrey Brodie, Assistant Principal, St Patrick’s College, Ballarat, on “An instrument fit for purpose: meeting urgent and important problems in education”

Rev Dr Jake Mudge, Corpus Christi College on “’The Power of Recognising and Expressing’ [MIT 66]: Lonergan’s Notion of the Symbol and finding Meaning in Reflective Practice for Ministry”

Father Robin Koning SJ, Australian Lonergan Centre, on “The Role of Chs 1-4 of Method in Theology

At the Workshop, we will launch the fourth book in Australian Lonergan Workshop series, Meeting the Challenges of Today: How Has Bernard Lonergan’s Thought Helped to Meet The Challenges Of Our Day And How Will It Help in the Future? edited by Cecilia Francisco-Tan (ATF Press, Adelaide 2023)

As can be seen from this volume, the Australian Lonergan Workshop aims to encourage a diversity of contributions from across many disciplines and fields, from emerging young voices and those who continually value Lonergan’s work to inform, to bring to birth insights stirred by what Frederick Crowe,sj, called ‘a profundity we have dimly glimpsed in Lonergan’s work; we have a sense of an enormous potential to develop.’ The result is a collection ranging from the eclectic, stirring and practical, to the richly theological, and scholarly. Nonetheless, each contribution adds to the valuable ongoing exploration of ideas necessary for conversation and progress. To this end, the Australian Lonergan Workshop while a modest publication, remains an invaluable vehicle for developing Lonergan scholarship in Oceania.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Introduction

Tom Daly Oration 2021 Authentic Subjects Transforming Cultures: Fr Tom Daly’s Contribution Robin Koning, SJ

The Education Moment: Some Suggestions for a Foundation in Education Geoffrey Brodie

Teaching Lonergan’s Transcendental Method to Undergraduates Loretta Brennan, csb

An Integral Scale of Values as a Heuristic for Understanding And Transforming Cultures Sean McNelis

Towards Communal Discernment of Universal Foundations: Contributions from the Catholic Faith Tradition Christina Kheng

Lonergan and Encounter with Australian Indigenous Culture Matthew C Ogilvie

Divine Initiative and Human Participation Kathleen Williams, RSM

Towards a Situation of Bernard Lonergan in Relation To other Theologians Matthew C Ogilvie

Lonergan’s Verbum as a Thomist Cipher Maddison Reddie-Clifford

The Superhero and the Hero’s Journey: From Kierkegaard and Nietzche to Lonergan Matthew C Ogilvie