The Fragility of Consciousness: Faith, Reason, and the Human Good
Frederick G. Lawrence is the authoritative interpreter of the work of Bernard Lonergan and an incisive reader of twentieth-century continental philosophy and hermeneutics.
The Fragility of Consciousness is the first published collection of his essays and contains several of his best known writings as well as unpublished work. The essays in this volume exhibit a long interdisciplinary engagement with the relationship between faith and reason in the context of the crisis of culture that has marked twentieth- and twenty-first century thought and practice. Frederick G. Lawrence, with his profound and generous commitment to the intellectual life of the church, has produced a body of work that engages with Heidegger, Gadamer, Habermas, Ricoeur, Strauss, Voegelin, and Benedict XVI among others. These essays also explore various themes such as the role of religion in a secular age, political theology, economics, neo-Thomism, Christology, and much more. In an age marked by social, cultural, political, and ecclesial fragmentation, Lawrence models a more generous way – one that prioritizes friendship, conversation, and understanding above all else.
- Series: Lonergan Studies
- World Rights
- Page Count: 456 pages
- Dimensions: 6.5in x 1.3in x 9.3in
‘Lawrence is a great scholar whose influence has been felt primarily in the classroom. The Fragility of Consciousness, his first book, lets the wider world know what his students have long had the benefit of.’
First Things July 2017
‘Any who are interested in Lonergan studies will find this text a valuable resource.’
Reading Religion July 2017
"Any serious-minded person who has accepted the dual risk of honestly engaging with contemporary thought, on the one hand, and of living into intellectual, moral, and religious inheritance of the broad Christian tradition, on the other hand will find a friend and a guide in these essays. While the erudition of these essays places them beyond most under graduates, decades of students, fellow theologians, and every library will find something new and vital here."
Benjamin J. Hohman
Horizons: The Journal of the College of Theological Society June 2018
"The cumulative impact of this brilliant collection of essays make two things very clear: first, Professor Lawrence is undoubtedly the foremost interpreter of the highly original and complex work of Bernard Lonergan; second, Professor Lawrence’s own voice has become a major voice in the contemporary debates on the crisis of culture and the resources to deal with that crisis."
David Tracy, Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies, University of Chicago
"Frederick G. Lawrence’s outstanding contribution to philosophy and theology is internationally respected and treasured. The fragility of consciousness reminds us of the essential incompleteness of any human action and as such calls for humility as the conscientious endeavour to rediscover our place in the created universe."
Andrzej Wiercinski, Professor of Philosophy of Religion, University of Freiburg
"The Fragility of Consciousness brings together an excellent selection of Lawrence’s work, making available older pieces, those difficult to find, and unpublished essays that very few can access. The volume makes a real contribution, both as an introduction to Lawrence’s thought, to Lonergan studies more generally, and as an intellectual accomplishment in its own right."
R.J. Snell, Director, Center on the University and Intellectual Life, The Witherspoon Institute
Author InformationFrederick G. Lawrence is an American hermeneutic philosopher and theologian, and a specialist in Bernard Lonergan, teaching in the Department of Theology at Boston College.
Randall S. Rosenberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University.
Kevin M. Vander Schel is an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University.
Table of contents
Frequently Cited Works
Foreword by Frederick G. Lawrence
Part One: The Hermeneutic Revolution and the Crisis of Culture
1. Martin Heidegger and the Hermeneutic Revolution
2. Hans-Georg Gadamer and the Hermeneutic Revolution
3. Gadamer and Lonergan on Augustine’s Verbum Cordis – the Heart of Postmodern Hermeneutics
4. A Jewish and a Christian Approach to the Problematic of Jerusalem and Athens: Leo Strauss and Bernard Lonergan
5. Voegelin and Gadamer: Continental Philosophers Inspired by Plato and Aristotle
6. Transcendence from Within: Benedict XVI and Jürgen Habermas on the Dialogue between Secular Reason and Religious Faith
Part Two: Theology and the Human Good
7. The Fragility of Consciousness: Lonergan and the Postmodern Concern for the Other
8. The Recovery of Theology in a Political Mode: The Example of Ernest L. Fortin, AA
9. The Economic Good of Order and Culture in Relation to Solidarity, Subsidiarity, and Responsibility
10. The Human Good and Christian Conversation
11. Grace and Friendship: Postmodern Political Theology and God as Conversation
12. Growing in Faith as the Eyes of Being-in-Love with God
The Writings of Frederick G. Lawrence
Subjects and Courses