"Mutual Misunderstanding:
the Dialectic of Contemporary Hermeneutics"
Lonergan's Hermeneutics:
Its Development and Application
edited by Sean E. McEvenue and Ben F. Meyer
Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1989


Bernard Lonergan has proposed a technique for promoting mutual understanding in cases of serious difference on important matters.  The technique would help sort through what he calls "the oceans of commentary that ever flow in ever renewed interpretations of the greater works of human intelligence."
"Plato and Aquinas and Kant keep on speaking for themselves each in several widely different manners when they are allowed to do so by different interpreters."
I will simply try to show how Lonergan's technique might be applied to clarifying differences in interpretation among biblical exegetes and drawing conclusions for theology.

I. The Dialectic of Ultimate Stances and Interpretations
Naive realism, skepticism, empiricism, idealism, existentialism, phenomenology, critical realism.
II. The Dialectic of "the Bible is the word of God"
Scientific exegesis
A note on other Scriptures
Summary of the dialectic.

The first part of the paper maintains that the basic reason why exegetes can't agree is that they are looking for quite different things and don't know it.  The second part of the paper claims that the reason other explanations of the move from Scripture to theology break down is that they are explaining quite different things and don't know it.