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The Structure of Religious Knowing
Encountering the Sacred in Eliade and Lonergan
The Structure of Religious Knowing
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John D. Dadosky - Author
Price: $50.00 
Hardcover - 199 pages
Release Date: March 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6061-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6061-0

Price: $25.95 
Paperback - 199 pages
Release Date: 
ISBN10: 0-7914-6062-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6062-7

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Provides a critical exploration of Mircea Eliade's notion of the sacred by referencing the work of Bernard Lonergan.

This definitive study brings together the thought of Romanian religious scholar Mircea Eliade with that of Canadian philosopher and theologian Bernard Lonergan to identify the general structure of religious knowing. Applying Lonergan's fourfold levels of consciousness as an interpretive framework, the author elicits a clearer understanding of Eliade's theories of the sacred by treating four principle themes: the experience of the sacred; the sacred as expressed in religious symbols; the fundamental reality of the sacred; and life in the sacred as religious transformation, ritual, and mystical personalities. In addition, the book addresses the relationship between theology and religious studies as distinct but complimentary disciplines, and the interdisciplinary foundations for cooperation among the world's religions.

“…Dadosky … makes an interesting effort to bring together the Rumanian religious scholar Mircea Eliade and Canadian philosopher/theologian Bernard Lonergan to study the basic structure of religious knowing.” — Theoforum

“Dadosky, reaching up to the mind of Lonergan, offers some important insights on the respective roles of religious studies and theology in addressing the convergence of world religions, a question of great significance for our times.” — Studies in Religion

“Dadosky’s use of Lonergan’s four levels of intentionality in his discussion of Eliade’s writings is clarifying … His study is replete with fine interpretive nuances.” — Theological Studies

"This is a significant study. It is both a valuable addition to the scholarship on Eliade, and an impressive, concrete illustration of the power of Lonergan's method. Dadosky shows a command of the literature on Eliade and carefully engages it. He shows how Lonergan's thought helps resolve many of the difficulties raised by that scholarship and reveals a greater significance in Eliade's work." — Patrick H. Byrne, coeditor of Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, Vol. 15: Macroeconomic Dynamics: An Essay in Circulation Analysis

"Dadosky brings together the insights of two highly gifted thinkers and does so in a systematic way that builds their points of shared concern into a well-rounded complementarity. When brought together, these thinkers provide an eloquent address to some central questions of faith, an address that runs the gamut from archaic religion to the encounter with twentieth-century science." — Paul Kidder, Seattle University

John D. Dadosky is Assistant Professor of Theology at Regis College.

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Table of Contents




Scope and Content
Parameters of the Study

1. Significant Moments in the Historical Development of the Study of Religion and Religious Experience

1. Schleiermacher and The Feeling of Absolute Dependence
2. Rudolf Otto and The Idea of the Holy

Mysterium tremendum et fascinans

3. Gerardus Van der Leeuw: Phenomenology of Religion
4. Mircea Eliade and the Study of the Sacred

2. Lonergan on the Relationship between Theology and the History of Religions

1. Lonergan's Encounter with Eliade
2. The Turn to the Subject's Religious Horizon
3. The Relationship between Theology and the History of Religions
4. The Coming Convergence of World Religions
5. Eliade's New Humanism

3. Lonergan's Theory of Consciousness as Hermeneutic Framework

1. Patterns of Operations
2. Patterns of Experience
3. Differentiations of Consciousness
4. Transformations of Consciousness—Conversion
5. Lonergan's Theory of Consciousness as Hermeneutic Framework

The Upper Blade

4. The Experience of the Sacred

1. The Encounter with the Sacred

1.1 Coincidentia Oppositorum
1.2 Hierophany
1.3 The Paradoxical Relationship between the Sacred and the Profane

2. The Experience of the Sacred: A Lonergan Perspective

2.1 Coincidentia Oppositorum: An Analysis
2.2 The Sacred and Profane and Lonergan's Theory of Consciousness


5. Understanding the Sacred through Religious Symbols

1. Sacred Symbols

1.1 Recovering Sacred Symbols
1.2 The Symbolism of the Center

2. Lonergan and Symbolism

2.1 Elemental Symbols in Lonergan's Theory of Consciousness
2.2 Psychic Conversion and the Recovery of Sacred Symbols


6. The Sacred as Real: An Analysis of Eliade's Ontology of the Sacred

1. The Ontological Status of the Sacred

1.1 The Sacred as "the Real"
1.2 Sacred Myth and Reality
1.3 A Platonic Ontology?

2. Lonergan's Philosophy and the Sacred and the Profane

2.1 The Unrestricted Act of Understanding
2.2 The Subject's Full Religious Horizon


7. Living in the Sacred

1. Eliade: Living in the Sacred

1.1 The Transformative Power of the Sacred
1.2 Homo Religiosus
1.3 The Sacred Life of the Shaman

2. Living in the Sacred and Lonergan's Notion of Self-Transcendence

2.1 Transformations of Consciousness and the Sacred
2.2 Differentiations of Consciousness


8. Eliade and Lonergan: Mutual Enrichment


Toward a Fuller Philosophy of God
Toward the Foundations for Religious Convergence
A Final Note




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