Lonergan, Bernard Joseph Francis

Bernard Joseph Francis Lonergan, Jesuit priest, philosopher-theologian (b at Buckingham, Qué 17 Dec 1904; d at Pickering, Ont 26 Nov 1984). Lonergan was a brilliant, original thinker of the highest rank. For many years his ideas have been studied by scholars in various fields. In addition to the original Lonergan Research Centre, founded in 1971 at Regis College, Toronto, where Lonergan had his academic and spiritual home, there were, by the time he died, 9 similar centres around the world.

The originality of his work lies principally in the area of method where through a penetrating study of the mind in action he demonstrated the methodical interrelation of the natural and social sciences, philosophy and theology. Lonergan was a professor at the Gregorian University, Rome (1953-65), at Harvard (1971-72) and at Boston College (1975-83). His honours include Companion of the Order of Canada and Fellow of the British Academy. Lonergan's work is too rigorously intellectual and specialized to be widely known, though popular journals have taken note of congresses held to study his ideas. His works include Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1957) and Method in Theology (1972).