Review of Philip McShane, Interpretation from A to Z

William Zanardi


A subtitle for this book could have read “A Revolution Betrayed.” The author begins by criticizing conventional ways of reading and interpreting the works of Bernard Lonergan, ways that remain at the level of common-sense meanings. However, Lonergan’s purpose in Chapter 17, Section 3 of Insight and in Chapter 7 of Method in Theology was to start a revolution in ways of reading and interpreting. Why have his followers failed to make the radical changes he proposed? No doubt academic inertia has played a role. The changes are difficult to make, remote from inherited pre-scientific practices, and perhaps too futuristic for those settled into familiar scholarly routines.

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