Community Climbing: Toward Functional Collaboration

Terry Quinn


A main purpose of this article is to draw attention to Lonergan’s discovery, functional specialization. Lonergan’s result was first presented in dense summary fashion, in a 20 page 1969 article "Functional Specialization in Theology." This later became the 20 page Chapter 5 of his 1970 book Method in Theology. While Lonergan’s discovery originally was communicated to theologians, it is a result for all disciplines, “a method, ..., for integrating theology with scholarly and scientific studies ... for promoting good and undoing evil both in the church and in human society generally” (Method in Theology). The present article is for a general audience and includes footnotes to follow-up material as well as a copy of Lonergan’s 1965 discovery page.


Functional specialization, division of labor, progress, human good.

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