The Bigard 48th Annual Convocation Lecture, 2019

Theme: The Dialectics of Insight and Oversight in Social Reconstruction      


In nearly six decades since her birth as an independent nation, the task of building a  nation with promise, pride and progress has eluded Nigeria. We have what appears to be a delinquent nation where civility is scarce, and a nation where there is hardly right decisions. Our nation is a classic symbol of state of chaos, where blind people lead blind people and expect to find their way for nearly 60 years. It is a nation where Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart has become a reality. Though some remarkable progress may have been made in some areas like sports and private sector, the fact remains that our nation is still plagued by dysfunctional structures. Ours is a society where the rule of law is fictional and our history is streaming in Hobbesian categories. There is constant  confusion over conflicting values that define the land. We are a nation with no clear national insight or vision and a nation where standards are sham. 

This myriad of malaise may run on course forever unless we stop to raise some fundamental questions that can guide our course. Among such fundamental questions include: do we have the right insight that can make a sound nation? And what are the implications where such is lacking? What constitutes our Nigerian-ness? What defines a Nigerian personality, as the leader or the led? What is the basic psychohistory behind the Nigerian existentiality? Do we have authentic national ideology or insight that guides Nigeria? Do Nigerians have the right methodology and creative basics for building a progressive society? These are the leading questions that we keep in mind in this reflection as we attempt to use Nigeria to demonstrate the “the dialectics of insight and oversight in social reconstruction.”   

Understanding Insight and Oversight

The word “insight” simply means deeper knowledge. Oxford Advanced Learner Dictionary defined it as “the ability to see and understand the truth about a people or a situation.”[1] It means consciousness of what somebody or something is and implies, in order to understand, analyze, judge, control, act or not act on such object of conscious awareness. To help us deepen the idea of insight, and for our particular application in this essay, a leaning on the meaning of insight by Bernard Lonergan would be relevant here. Lonergan’s concept of insight however was explained within his discussions on the methodology of understanding. To study Lonergan’s methodology of understanding, it is important to know what method means and its nuances of postulations in the history of thought.

The word “method” is derived from the Latin “methodus,” or the Greek “mèthodos,” which simply means road, process or pursuit. It implies a process or pursuit to arrive at something. It is a settled procedure, usually according to a definite, established, logical or systematic plan. Method is often aimed at something which it intends to achieve. Its onward and forward movement towards that which it aims at is what is called “progress.” Progress is a movement towards an improved or advanced level of the object of pursuit. Such  objects of pursuit could be things, persons or values. For instance, one can progress towards knowledge, truth or meaningful thing. Such objects of progress could spur personal creativity and growth. It can also bring personal satisfaction, inner joy, happiness and peace. It may also result in public order, security, development, greatness and glory. Method as a process of making progress or doing something, has been expressed and applied in various ways through the history of thought.

In the history of philosophy for instance, method has been used to make progress towards truth and values. Heraclitus, the cynic of Ephesus argued that conflict which he symbolized as “fire” is a method for stimulating progress. Socrates and Plato used a method of dialogue in pursuit of objectivity or truth. Aristotle held that a method of inductive reasoning is what can be used to establish the principles behind anything that exists. Augustine sought the knowledge of transcendental truth by a  method of divine illumination. Aquinas used his “quin quae viae” (five ways) to show that knowledge of God can be intelligently demonstrated, even if not understood as such. The continental rationalists like R. Descartes claimed that reason is the only method to know what is true and meaningful. On the contrary, the empiricists believed that demonstrative experimentation (F. Bacon) and empirical experience (J. Locke) are methods through which knowledge and power can be used to control nature. Kant mediated their polarities by arguing that reason and experience are complementary dual roads which form the method that leads to truth, meaning and progress in thought and action. For Hegel, dialectics along the tripartite process of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis constitute the method for objectivity and progress. In the contemporary epoch, existentialists have tried to develop methods that can help one understand and live out authentically, consciously and conscientiously. Their methods aim to provide direction in man’s search for truth and meaning as an incarnate spirit. Some used analytic method to understand man’s ideas in propositions, while others used existential methods to explain and guide man as an anthropological entity. This is where Lonergan, though not an existentialist as such made pungent contribution in his idea of insight in the formation of an authentic human community.      

Lonergan defined method as a “normative pattern of recurrent and related operations yielding cumulative and progressive results.”[2] Method therefore implies a dynamic process involving the heightening of the mind to any intelligible object. This is why he says that human knowing results from method.[3] Method agrees with the rule of reason. Its operations are dictated by human experience, intelligence, judgment and responsibility, and as such leads to comprehension and creativity. Method for him is the sound condition of the mind for the creation, innovation and recreation of operations that make for cumulative progress. That sound condition of the mind must be consciously attentive to empirical and intuitive experience. It must intelligently understand what one has paid attention to or is conscious of. If it does this, it will be able to establish deep knowledge, otherwise called “insight” over its objects of consciousness. And achieving insight is so important if critical and sound judgments can be made on what one claims to have understood correctly. It is only when one has judged rightly, that one will be in a position to decide responsibly, where there is sufficient goodwill to do what is right and good.

This gradual progression of the mind in Lonergan’s methodology is governed by what he calls the “law of emergent probability.”[4] This law says that the condition for the mind to make progress from one level to a higher level depends on the satisfaction of the conditions of the previous level. If I do not pay attention to things around me, I cannot validly claim to know them. If I do not know them, I cannot correctly judge them. And if I cannot correctly judge them, then I may not decide reasonably and justly over them. Thus, insight gives one the right to claim the knowledge of something and lays conditions for rightly judging something and justly making decision. It gives one the power to control one’s world. It helps one to govern his society. Insight creates the conditions that can help one make right decisions, and accumulation of reasonable and wise decisions can lead to progress. A society driven by insight will have citizens who are attentive, intelligent, critical and responsible and as such can rule their world. This is what Nigeria is yet to be.

One can imagine how much we do not pay attention to basic blocks that constitute our functional society. Today, the trees of our village forests are chopped down daily and no one pays attention to the long term ecological implications. Today, drug addiction has crept into our society and no one is paying serious attention. Today, we have graduates who lack such rudimentary understanding as the measurement of distances in kilometres. Today, we have governments who project budgets with incorrect or no statistics. We project demographical figures without census and plan our political lives on such bogus wrong projections. It is like building a house of lies in which we shall live as its first victims. Negligence or inattention to basic building blocks is one of the main dysfunctional elements that make the task of building Nigeria a mirage.  

Insight And Authenticity

Lonergan inspired by Newton’s law of inertia argues that just like an object in motion maintains a straight movement until intercepted by something, so does the human subject maintain an ideal, straight functionality until interrupted by something else. This metaphorically implies that living with insight or reason is like moving in the   “straight line” order proper to human nature. After all, man is essentially defined as a rational animal, and that is what makes man unique among other animals. Michael Shute commenting on this rightly asks: “what happens if everyone is always attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible. What happens is progress.”[5] Given attention to the basic factors of existentiality, making effort to understand them, judging them correctly and making decisions based on that is the method for making progress as a person, and in a human society. This is what education must help a society achieve. If a subject acts reasonably and as such with insight, he would advert to the human situation, that is, the rational existence. Thus, moving on the  “straight line” of human existentiality as an authentic personality. Insight leads to authenticity of persons and society.

One who acts intelligently can know how things could be done rightly, and would always seek ways of making a situation better in his life and community. If many people within a human society adopt this maxim in their actions, they would create a  society led by insight too. Lonergan believes that such a society will be civil and could have good counsel, responsible decisions and progressive projects. Citizens of such society could easily agree on what is right and carry them out. If a problem arises, they can proffer the right solutions to them, yielding positive and cumulative positive results. William Mathews in this regard holds that this is a “natural dialectic” which is an idealized account of human action as being consistently intelligent and responsible.[6] Where there is insight, there will be “a series of ascending general principles each followed by expansion, antithesis and a soluble problem.”[7] Commenting on such a society led by insight, Shute further posits:

They always did what was attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible. As a result of the observance of the transcendental precepts problems would be noticed, previously unrealized possibilities would be grasped, unworkable proposals would be rejected while workable ones would be embraced, and decisions would be based on an unbiased evaluation of the situation. The implication is an ever-increasing progress or ideal line.[8]

Insight can help one to meet up with the demands of practical intelligence facing the concrete life rightly. One could use one’s intelligent insight to gain access into the depth of problems that arise and be able to work out ways of resolving them. One is more likely to live a forward life if one pays attention and verifies the facts and truths in the historical events around oneself. This can also help one to arrive at the right choices in decision making. It can transform one’s existentiality and help one to make positive impacts and contributions to the human community where one lives. There will be development, expansion and application of concrete and practical arts, science and technology. This will eventually lead to the emergence of systematic exigencies and the “leap in being,” which will bring one to the second stage of development where there is insight.[9]

A society driven by insight would thrive in technical know-how which is a building block for  progress. They will advance to what Lonergan calls a “theoretical stage,” where  “there is the development of scientific theory, which proposes theories to account for material and cultural phenomena and which directs the application of theory to practice. This progressive cycle can advance a society to the level of theoretical control as developments of theory direct practice.”[10] The emergence of scientific culture in a human society is a product of human insight which developed from man’s ability of intelligent inquiry. It is a stage in which one can understand the relationships between objects and can draw out the laws and principles that guide and regulate them. If such is lacking as in Nigeria, the control and utilization of a society’s natural and human resources would be herculean, if not impossible to achieve. How do we as Nigerians hope to build a great nation when our system of education cannot equip one with the technical know-how and established “good of the order” requisite for the provision of the personal good, cultural good and common good?[11] And failure of a society to provide these fundamental needs: personal good, cultural good and common good, will make it difficult for a society to rise to the third level of a nation led by insight.

At the third stage in a society led by insight, “there is the potential for the general analysis of interiority grounded in self-appropriation which could count for the whole realm of proportionate being.”[12] This involves the appropriation of the first two stages which were on practical and scientific empowerment and development of the human subject. This stage is where people who are already equipped in dealing with practical challenges and human values like respect, dignity and being cultured will become a civil society who are anthropologically authentic as individuals and as a human community. Here, citizens become guided by rational interests and sound social consciousness and morality. They become more socially ethical and responsible, which prepares their minds and actions for more authentic religiosity. This is why one can only talk of authentic spirituality when religion trains people to respect the sacred, not only in God and the angels, but in their fellow human beings. True religion demands that one loves one’s neighbour as one loves one’s God.

Often in Nigeria, we have many religious people who honour God, but hardly show same in their relationship with their neighbours or their responsibilities to their immediate social environment. That is far from authenticity in piety. Lack of sound social consciousness is one of the main factors that make religions in Nigeria  inauthentic, immature, hypocritical and empty. A religion of such brand cannot save a people or build a nation of people with integrity and right piety. Authenticity and piety should be complimentary and comprehensive in every aspect of one’s life. That is what holiness really means. Holiness means wholeness in every way and place one has to express one’s love, respect, kindness and goodness. Genuine religion must be mediated with authentic social and moral integrity. This is what one is yet to see among many believers in Nigeria. We say lengthy prayers in churches and mosques, and these have little or nothing to show in how we relate to ourselves and how we handle public structures that sustain the common good that serves all of us.

Oversight and Structural Distortions

The opposite of insight is what Lonergan calls oversight. It is a condition in which one is un-attentive, unintelligent, unreasonable, un-critical and irresponsibly making erroneous decisions in handling one’s existential issues. It is a deliberate violation of intelligent functional order which could lead to abnormality in the dramatic subject.[13] Oversight is a conscious refusal of subjective insight which leads to the emergence of structural aberrations and distortions, which Lonergan calls “bias.” The question Lonergan asked in this regard is: “What happens insofar as people are inattentive, unintelligent, unreasonable, or irresponsible? What happens then is various forms of aberration or signs of decline.”[14] When there is an unintelligent deviation from “natural dialectic” to “dialectic of sin,” which is corrupted, there will be “a series of descending general principles, each followed by an evil expansion.”[15] This is because when there is accumulation of un-thoughtful and wrongful decisions, mistakes and errors, as a result of oversight, there would be retrogression and decline. This implies that while insight generates authenticity, integrity and progress, oversight breeds in-authenticity, emptiness and retrogress, in persons and society. Lonergan argued that the forms of bias or deformation created by oversight can be seen in four major types: “dramatic bias,” the “individual bias,” the “group bias,” and the “general bias.”

In the dramatic bias or deformation induced by oversight or rejection of insight, one becomes somewhat bizarre. As J. Ogbonnaya notes: “dramatic bias incapacitates people who are so affected at the subconscious level that they are unable to generate insights requisite for progress and development.”[16] When people have dramatic bias, their common sense and other elementary passions are vitiated and deviated. They develop split motivations and neural obsessive complex. Here, one’s “psychic energy can be blocked, fixed in inflexible patterns, driven by compulsion, plagued by obsessions, weighed down by general anxiety or specific fears, resistant to insight, true judgment, and responsible action.”[17] And under this condition, making progress becomes herculean if not impossible as the rudimentary conditions for progress are distorted or deformed. It is not uncommon to find many Nigerians with inflexible stereotypes in matters of ethnicity, spiritual superstitious and other complexes and fears rooted in phantasmagoria, often un-curable even by higher education. Such are classic cases of dramatic bias. People with such psychic dispositions make learning, dialogue  and transformation difficult and even impossible.

Dramatic bias or deformation can lead to individual bias or moral egoism, in which the egoist engages in a conscious self-orientation that devotes his energies in sizing up the social order, ferreting out its weak points and its loopholes, and discovering devices that give access to its rewards while evading its demands for proportionate contribution.[18] Here, individuals apply their intelligence in the exploitation of the weaknesses of the society for their self-regarding appetite. “The individual is taking care of himself and not worrying about anyone else. He is looking for all the loopholes in the institutional framework that enable him to get more out of it than he is putting in.”[19] This can disrupt the “good of the order” by its lack of just practical intelligence in pursuing particular good, which ultimately disrupts a just society.

Widespread “individual bias” leads to “group bias” in which there is a bias of the generative principles that help in the development and nurturing of the “good of order” in a human community. It aims at excluding fruitful ideas and mutilating some by compromise to the advantage of group interest, thus, creating the nursery ground for thriving social discrimination of every brand: favouritism, nepotism, racism, ethnicism, sexism (gender inequality), class exclusion and so on. It distorts social order in which one group takes advantage of others, sometimes providing defensive reasons for their selfish decisions. “Group bias is seen in the spontaneous inter-subjectivity where members of a particular community seek to protect the interests of its members over that of the interests of the other members in the broader community.”[20] One sees these play out in some reasons people often invent to justify a deliberate exploitation and humiliation of others based on race, position, privileges, class or gender. Nigerian political elites make classic depiction of what group bias is all about.

Accumulation of the forms of bias above will push an entire society into “general bias” which is associated with a general weakness of the common sense in a person and a people. As J. Dadosky notes: “general bias resists theoretical knowledge and is content to live in the concrete world; it refuses to permit questions that might lead to theory.”[21] It restricts questions that would lead to theory and prevents fruitful ideas that bring technical and material improvements, adjustments in economic policies, and modifications of political structure.[22] General bias of common sense systematically ignores long-term consideration for short-term practical advantage. It makes the common sense incapable of addressing higher specializations of human intelligence and putting them into practice. It is actually a bias in which a protracted dysfunctional social system  like Nigeria succeeds in depriving her citizens the good mind and will power to think well or live well. It completes a vicious cycle in which individuals with distorted minds and bad will succeed in creating a society where vision and values are either moribund or dead. This is Nigeria society  today! People have a complex of learned helplessness in aspiring to think creatively and acting kindly due to a poisoned social culture that makes such attitudes or actions look ridiculous, unappreciated, risky and tragic.

Consequences of Oversight and Bias

Living constantly with the distortions above can accumulate into a  process of decline for any society. The first stage which is a short-term cycle of such decline starts when a benefitting “dominant group” (a form of group bias) neglects fruitful ideas, and in such doing create depressed and dissatisfied group that can rock and rattle the society. “Dominant group” or “dominant minority”[23] represents a biased group as different from “creative minority.” The dominant minority represents an irresponsible privileged class as against the creative minority who are more responsible and progressive. They can provoke aggressive opposition when they resist change that does not favour them or that questions their privileged positions. When this occurs, a society might witness a short cycle of decline in the form of violent change, resistant struggle against the dominant group and a temporal suspension of the superstructures that sustain a society, which can lead to a longer cycle of decline.

In the longer cycle of decline individuals and groups no longer merely offend against their consciences but blunt them. When they deform their consciences, sin becomes the law itself rather than an exception to the law.[24] There will be widespread negligence of values that hold the society, leading to the failure of all the groups in a society to take up the task and responsibility of the long-range higher viewpoint in their decisions and actions. This will lead to social deterioration, continuous refusal to implement intelligent and useful ideas, anomaly in the social order, lies, sluggishness and stagnation[25] The superstructures of the society like culture, virtue, religion and philosophy would be neglected or left to personal choices and opinions. People would be left without core values, laws and norms. They may become unhappy, rejected and discontented. People in this situation will turn down adherence to standards and excellence in pursuing social objectives. They will dump principles and prefer to handle life the way things are, and not the way things should be. Here, “human activity settles down to a decadent routine, and initiative becomes the privilege of violence.”[26] There will be abuse of effective freedom.

Abuse of effective freedom rejects intelligence and eliminates principles of intelligent inter-subjectivity like the division of labour, sanctity of life, laws of contract, mutual respect and trust, personal integrity, social dignity, community corporation and tolerance. Impunity and abuse of the essential elements of the existential community become common. This constitutes the early indices of the collapse of a society as rejection of values and industry in the society will lead to limited resources and poverty, lack of economic and social order, uneasy communication and strained inter-subjective support and eventual conflict in war. At war a society arrives at its total collapse and the society can end with it. Long cycle of distortions and decline can also lead to the emergence of a totalitarian regime with widespread morbid fear and mindless inordinate ambition, augmented prejudice, accumulated resentment from ages of hatred, mutilated ideas, lack of enthusiasm and passion for creative building, bitter memories, cold revolution and every other social odd imaginable.

The Task of Social Reconstruction.

However, no nation is forever tied to an evil destiny. Even after a nation has been robbed of her best features, a question that can lead to redemption can still be raised. The questions we have to raise for the third dialectic in this reflection should be: how does a fallen society recover and reposition herself? What constitutes the next task for social reconstruction in a collapsed society? This rebuilding of a deformed society constitutes the third dialectic in this our discussion. Lonergan calls it the “supernatural dialectic.”[27] Given that the challenges of a society are beyond the sole responsibility of human intelligent choices, there is always a need to invite a higher integration which is the supernatural conjugate that are capable of transforming the human mind and character. As M. Shute explains:

The higher integration of the supernatural conjugates solves the problem of human living by controlling elements that otherwise are non-systematic or irrational. It integrates the lower order conjugates of authentic human operation into the higher order. It transforms those elements of the social surd by turning evil into good. The operation of the supernatural conjugates is in accord with emergent probability; therefore, the integrity of the lower order is maintained.[28]

The integration of a supreme power and intelligence is capable of transforming human mind and character. This can be done through courageous and sincere prophetic re-proclamation and application of divine and fundamental virtues at practical, intellectual, moral and religious levels.[29] At practical level, we have a need to reanimate our social consciousness and habits with love and fear of God. Our commitment in prayers needs to match our responsibility of love and fear of God. Our sacred sense must translate into practical expressions in the society. Two major areas where this have to be much focused include the areas of politics and education. Politics here is meant in the wider sense of something beyond the acts of politicians. It refers to the entire life in the public sphere. To change Nigeria, there may not be a need for a change in the political principles or system, but there is an urgent need to change how the system is carried out under the rule of law and love of God for one’s neighbour. Nigerians must learn to synchronize their public life with sacred obligations and responsibilities. That is how to start taming our uncivil ego that often degenerate into individual or group bias.

On education, we need to restructure, not the system of education in Nigeria, but the quality of application, at both formal and informal levels. In this regard, I will subscribe to a more involving and discursive system of delivery in learning, which is akin to what some education psychologists call, andragogy.[30] This will open learners and students to the ethics that should mediate whatever just carrier or lifestyle they may choose to live. At the informal level, I will suggest an approach of what I call “hearth pedagogy.” In hearth pedagogy, I envision a modernized version of our ancestral African family formation forum, in which families and friends sit around the hearth, the family hub, to engage in collective discussions and learning on how to cultivate basic skills, enlighten minds, and shape people’s sense of meaning. Parents can take up technical themes and social issues and make it a relevant sharing at family free time. The aim of hearth pedagogy will be to make the family a vital “classroom” for teaching practical skills and fundamental values. This will help to sow the basic insights for creativity and stem the rudimentary oversights that accumulate to frustrate the efforts to make our nation better. At moral and religious levels, we need what Robert Doran calls “psychic conversion.”[31] This will help convert many minds who are victims of “general bias” induced by protracted helpless history of the Nigerian society. It can re-sprout new faith in people who believe that Nigerian salvation is impossible. Psychic conversion can equally provide the spirited  impetus for hope in a hopeless Nigerian society. And in the light of how we are today as Nigerians, we need such psychic conversion, as individuals and as a nation, in order to build the right insight to re-initiate the project of social reconstruction. Such psychic conversion is the first tool that will drill in the values of core virtues enlightened by insight. It will also help to identify the short and long term tragic implications of normalizing social sin wrought by oversight in the dialectics of social reconstruction. The moral mission to this redemptive arc is urgent and must be activated and championed by reliable religious leaders and true-blue elites if any hope for national transformation is possible in our land.

Rev. Fr. Dr. Humphrey Uchenna Ani,

HOD, Philosophy,

Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, Nigeria.


Dadosky, John. “Healing the Psychological Subject: Towards a Fourfold Notion of Conversion?” In Theoforum, 35:1, 2004.

Doran, Robert. Theology and the Dialectics of History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990. 

Doran, Robert. Subject and Psyche: Ricoeur, Jung, and the Search for Foundations. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1994.

Hornby, Albert Sydney. ed. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Lonergan, Bernard. Insight A Study of Human Understanding, edited by Crowe, F.E. and Doran, R.         CWL, III, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992.

————. Early Works On Theological Method 1, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 22, edited by Doran, R.M – Croken, R.C. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.

———— Method in Theology, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972.

Matthews, William. Lonergan’s Quest: A Study of Desire in the Authoring of Insight. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.

Ogbonnaya, Joseph. Lonergan, Social Transformation, and Sustainable Human Development. Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013.

Ogbonnaya Joseph, “Lonergan As Therapy For Confused Cultures-An African Response.” In Lonergan’s Anthropology Revisited-The Next Fifty Years of Vatican 11, ed. Whelan, George.  Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2015.

Shute, Michael. The Origins of Lonergan’s Notion of the Dialectic of History, Lanham: University Press of America, Inc, 1951.

Toynbee, Arnold. A Study of History, vol. 1, 244-246. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.

Whelan, George. Redeeming History-Social Concern in Bernard Lonergan and Robert Doran. Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2013.

[1] Albert, S. Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary of Current English, 8th edition.

[2] Bernard Lonergan, Method in Theology (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972), 4.

[3] Cf. Michael Shute, The Origins of Lonergan’s Notion of the Dialectic of History (Lanham: University Press of America, Inc, 1951), 14.

[4] Cf. Bernard Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, ed. F.E. Crowe and R. Doran,  CWL, III, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 148.

[5] Bernard Lonergan, Early Works On Theological Method 1 ed. Robert M. Doran and Robert C. Croken, CWL, XXII(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), 507.

[6] Cf. George Whelan, Redeeming History-Social Concern in Bernard Lonergan and Robert Doran (Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2013), 34.

[7] Cf. William Matthews, Lonergan’s Quest: A Study of Desire in the Authoring of Insight (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), 25.

[8] Shute, The Origins of Lonergan‘s Notion of the Dialectic of History, 43.                                            

[9] Cf. Shute, The Origins of Lonergan‘s Notion of the Dialectic of History, 44.

[10] Shute, The Origins of Lonergan‘s Notion of the Dialectic of History, 44.

[11] Lonergan has four classes of good in ascending order that correspond to the four transcendental precepts: empirical, intellectual, rational and responsible. These forms of good include: “personal good” like food, personal property, shelter etc; “intellectual good” like cultural values, arts, patriotism, national pride, “good of the order” which refers to order of the society as good that helps in the provision and sustenance of personal good and intellectual good. Here one thinks of family, schools, politics etc, which are the order of the society that help to provide and protect other goods. There is also the “transcendental good” which refers to higher values or social superstructures like integrity, piety, morality and religiosity, which are cultivated through self-appropriation and self-authenticity, especially after the satisfaction of the other forms of good. Cf. Joseph Ogbonnaya, Lonergan, Social Transformation, and Sustainable Human Development (Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013), 94.

[12] Shute, The Origins of Lonergan‘s Notion of the Dialectic of History, 44-45.

[13] Cf. Bernard Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding,212-214.

[14] Lonergan, Early Works on Theological Method 1,507.

[15] Mathews, Lonergan’s Quest: A Study of Desire in the Authoring of Insight, 126.

[16] Ogbonnaya Joseph, “Lonergan As Therapy For Confused Cultures-An African Response.” In Lonergan’s Anthropology Revisited-The Next Fifty Years of Vatican 11, ed. George Whelan (Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2015), 258.

[17] Robert Doran, Theology and the Dialectics of History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press , 1990), 229.  

[18] Cf. Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, 246.

[19] B. Lonergan, “Common Sense as Object” in ID., Early Works on Theological Method 1,246.

[20] Ogbonnaya, Lonergan, Social Transformation, and Sustainable Human Development, 75.

[21] John Dadosky, “Healing the Psychological Subject: Towards a Fourfold Notion of Conversion?” in Theoforum, 35:1, 2004, 76.

[22] Cf. J. Ogbonnaya, Lonergan, Social Transformation, and Sustainable Human Development, 78.

[23] Shute explains the term “dominant minority” by Lonergan as derived from  A. Toynbee who made a distinction between the “dominant minority” and “creative minority.” Creative minority make responsible decisions for progress while dominant minority repress creativity in order to consolidate power which is the primary end of their group bias and interest. Cf. Arnold. Toynbee, A Study of History, vol. 1, 244-246 (London: Oxford University Press, 1972), 371-375. 

[24] Cf. Mathews, Lonergan’s Quest: A Study of Desire in the Authoring of Insight, 13.

[25] Cf. Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, 254

[26] B. Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, 8.

[27] Cf. Whelan, Redeeming History, 34.

[28] Shute, The Origins of Lonergan‘s Notion of the Dialectic of History, 57.

[29] Bernard Lonergan, Method in Theology (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972), 240-244.

[30]Andragogy is from two Greek words: andr (man) and agogos (leader-of), that is, “leading of man.” It refers to the process of learning in a more discursive and dialogical way, especially over concrete and existential challenges that need more practical handling. It underlines learning by experience, making responsible decisions through correct planning and evaluation. It was originally coined by the  German educator Alexander Kapp in 1833, and popularized by the American educator Malcom Knowles.

[31] Cf. Robert Doran, Subject and Psyche: Ricoeur, Jung, and the Search for Foundations (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1994), 224.