A new Web site, www.bernardlonergan.com, provides access to the archives of Bernard Lonergan, the late Canadian Jesuit theologian, philosopher and economist. Organization and development of the Web site was managed by Rev. Robert Doran, S.J., professor of theology at Marquette University.
Lonergan is often considered one of the most significant philosophical thinkers of the twentieth century. Deeply influenced by his doctoral work on Thomas Aquinas, Lonergan’s aim was to explain what it means to understand. He achieved this goal with Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, which explores what it means to inquire and how to inquire, no matter the subject. Lonergan would apply this knowledge of understanding to the fields of religion, culture, Christian faith, philosophy, education and macroeconomics.
More than 1,000 pieces from the estate are available online, including searchable PDF files of scanned microfilm, audio files of class lectures, and hand-written notes. The materials represent nearly 25 years of work cataloguing, indexing and transcribing by Doran. As Marquette’s Emmett Doerr Chair in Theology, Doran continues to work on Lonergan’s archives, and plans to add additional pieces to the Web site over the next couple of years. A Lonergan fund established by Marquette in 2007 enabled the development of the Web site.
To access the Lonergan archives online, researchers must register on the Web site. Launched in August, more than 300 users have already registered on the site. With the continued support of the Lonergan fund at Marquette, Doran plans on hosting an annual colloquium at Marquette and adding the contemporary material to the Web site.
Before moving to Marquette in 2006, Doran was the co-founder and director of the Lonergan Research Institute in Toronto and is the general editor of Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, published by University of Toronto Press. Lonergan personally asked Doran to be a trustee of his estate, and Doran continues as one of three trustees at the request of the Jesuits of English Canada.