Thursday, 28 March 2013

The symbolic and the sensible in religion

Here is what Lonergan has to say about the symbolic and sensible component of the divine solution to the problem of evil:
The divine solution to the problem of evil "will be not only a renovation of will that matches intellectual detachment and aspiration  not only a new and higher collaboration of intellects through faith in God, but also a mystery that is at once symbol of the uncomprehended and sign of what is grasped and psychic force that sweeps living human bodies, linked in charity, to the joyful, courageous, wholehearted, yet intelligently controlled performance of the tasks set by a world order in which the problem of evil is not suppressed but transcended.
     "Further, since mystery is a permanent need of man's sensitivity and intersubjectivity, while myth is an aberration not only of mystery but also of intellect and will, the mystery that is the solution as sensible must be not fiction but fact, not a story but history. It follows, then, that the emergent trend and the full realization of the solution must include the sensible data that are demanded by man's sensitive nature and that will command his attention, nourish his imagination, stimulate his intelligence and will, release his affectivity control his aggressivity, and, as central features of the world of sense, intimate its finality, its yearning for God." (B. Lonergan, Insight CWL 3:744-745) 

Rossi de Gasperis speaks, with Ignatius, I suppose, of the 'spiritual sense.'
The body of Jesus here. Interacting with the environment.
Our bodies are a flux. We are not contained in our skins. We are the ‘crossroads’ (De Smet) of a thousand schemes of recurrence.
This land, this history – they were part of the body of Jesus. That is why Rossi de Gasperis can talk of pilgrims kissing the stones. And PierVito’s testimony during the IME retreat at The Beatitudes, Galilee: "I laid my shame aside and embraced the stones."

And see also "Joseph and the splendor gloriae" at

Rossi de Gasperis can help fill out Lonergan on the symbolic and sensible component in the divine solution to the problem of evil. See Sentieri di vita 2.2:568ff on the sacramental dimension of the faith and of the Catholic liturgy. See 2.2:123: people kissing the land, anointing the stones, touching the places in the sanctuaries of Israel and of Palestine... 2.2:120-123: Il 'qinto esercizio' di Ignazio. L'applicazione dei sensi. Application of the senses.

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