The Givenness of Desire: Concrete Subjectivity and the Natural Desire to See God

By Randall S. Rosenberg

© 2017

In The Givenness of Desire, Randall S. Rosenberg examines the human desire for God through the lens of Lonergan’s "concrete subjectivity." Rosenberg engages and integrates two major scholarly developments: the tension between Neo-Thomists and scholars of Henri de Lubac over our natural desire to see God and the theological appropriation of the mimetic theory of René Girard, with an emphasis on the saints as models of desire. With Lonergan as an integrating thread, the author engages a variety of thinkers, including Hans Urs von Balthasar, Jean-Luc Marion, René Girard, James Alison, Lawrence Feingold, and John Milbank, among others. The theme of concrete subjectivity helps to resist the tendency of equating too easily the natural desire for being with the natural desire for God without at the same time acknowledging the widespread distortion of desire found in the consumer culture that infects contemporary life. The Givenness of Desire investigates our paradoxical desire for God that is rooted in both the natural and supernatural.

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Product Details

  • Series: Lonergan Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 286 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

In The Givenness of Desire, Randall S. Rosenberg examines the human desire for God through the lens of Lonergan’s "concrete subjectivity."

The Givenness of Desire: Concrete Subjectivity and the Natural Desire to See God

By Randall S. Rosenberg

© 2017

In The Givenness of Desire, Randall S. Rosenberg examines the human desire for God through the lens of Lonergan’s "concrete subjectivity." Rosenberg engages and integrates two major scholarly developments: the tension between Neo-Thomists and scholars of Henri de Lubac over our natural desire to see God and the theological appropriation of the mimetic theory of René Girard, with an emphasis on the saints as models of desire. With Lonergan as an integrating thread, the author engages a variety of thinkers, including Hans Urs von Balthasar, Jean-Luc Marion, René Girard, James Alison, Lawrence Feingold, and John Milbank, among others. The theme of concrete subjectivity helps to resist the tendency of equating too easily the natural desire for being with the natural desire for God without at the same time acknowledging the widespread distortion of desire found in the consumer culture that infects contemporary life. The Givenness of Desire investigates our paradoxical desire for God that is rooted in both the natural and supernatural.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Lonergan Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 286 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "Rosenberg has achieved something rare: a genuine and sympathetic conversation among neo-Scholastics, Lonergan, Girard, and la nouvelle théologie. The result is a valuable and immensely stimulating book, funded by terrific insight, for a theologically sophisticated readership."


    Jeremy D. Wilkins
    Horizons: The Journal of the College of Theological Society June 2018

    ‘This volume is a valuable resource for any scholar interested in the desire for self-transcendence and the natural desire for God.’


    J.M. Meinert
    Choice Magazine vol 55:05:2018

    "The Givenness of Desire creatively charts a path that mediates between the entrenched positions within the fraught debate about the supernatural. Appealing to Bernard Lonergan, Rosenberg looks for common ground by taking seriously the concrete subjectivity of religious experience and being-in-love as the way to arrive at a new relationship with God. The result is a daring proposal that suggests we move beyond the usual focus on intellectual desire to a mimesis of the living texts of the saints."


    Hans Boersma, J.I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College

    "In the last decade and a half, the old debate over the natural desire for God in Catholic thought has been renewed with a vigor unseen since the days of Blondel and de Lubac. Rosenberg’s treatment of the topic is remarkable for its acuity and breadth, and is infused with a deep intelligence and a penetrating attention to everything most essential.  Moreover, his account of Lonergan’s contribution is an extraordinary feat of conceptual clarification without any loss of profundity."


    David Hart, Fellow of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

    "The Givenness of Desire is a major and significant piece of work. Professor Rosenberg argues that the philosophical and theological insights of Lonergan can provide important correctives and new insights into the perennial theological issue of grace-nature. In his handling of his various sources Rosenberg is a sympathetic and generous interpreter, always looking for common ground and presenting his interlocutors in the best light. The work is scholarly, clearly written, and makes a welcome contribution to the current literature on grace-nature, bringing out the distinctive contribution of Lonergan’s work to resolving centuries-old disputes."


    Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology, Australian Catholic University
  • Author Information

    Randall S. Rosenberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University.
  • Table of contents

    Acknowledgements

    INTRODUCTION

    PART ONE: DE LUBAC, RESSOURCEMENT, AND NEO-THOMISM

    CHAPTER 1: De Lubac’s Lament: Loss of the Supernatural 
    CHAPTER 2: Ressourcement and Neo-Thomism: A Narrative under Scrutiny, A Dialogue Renewed 

    PART TWO: A LONERGAN RETRIEVAL: PURE NATURE TO CONCRETE SUBJECT

    CHAPTER 3: The Erotic Roots of Intellectual Desire  
    CHAPTER 4: Concretely-Operating Nature: Lonergan on the Natural Desire to See God 
    CHAPTER 5: Being-in-Love and the Desire for the Supernatural: Erotic-Agapic Subjectivity

    PART III: MIMETIC DESIRE, MODELS OF HOLINESS, AND THE LOVE OF DEVIATED TRANSCENDENCE

    CHAPTER 6: Incarnate Meaning and Mimetic Desire: Saints and the Desire for God 
    CHAPTER 7: The Metaphysics of Holiness and the Longing for God in History: Thérèse of Lisieux and Etty Hillesum 
    CHAPTER 8: Distorted Desire and the Love of Deviated Transcendence 

    CONCLUSION

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