The Structure of Religious Knowing

Encountering the Sacred in Eliade and Lonergan

By John D. Dadosky

Subjects: Theology, Religion, History Of Religion, Christianity
Paperback : 9780791460627, 199 pages, March 2004
Hardcover : 9780791460610, 199 pages, March 2004

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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





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.

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