Sexuality: The Mysticism and Ethics of a Mediated Return To Immediacy

Jean Ponder Soto


In Method in Theology (chapter 3) Lonergan points to a parallel between instances of a mediated return to immediacy: Finally there is a withdrawal from objectification and a mediated return to immediacy in the mating of lovers and in the prayerful mystics cloud of unknowing. Sotos essay explores the question: If it is possible, as some couples report, for the mating of lovers to be a prayerful, mystical experience, what does this mean?Soto explores the physiological, psychological and spiritual dimensions of the lovers immediacies. She finds three centers of natural immediacies in the lovers return via their lovemaking, and one supernatural immediacy. They include a primitive psychological state, Lonergans notion of spontaneous intersubjectivity, and the self-presence of contemplation. All three immediacies have transformative potential for the lovers, and position them for mystical experience. The fourth center of immediacy is the supernatural gift of the indwelling Christ. His presence in the lovers awareness is mystical immediacy. Christ is mediator and mediated in the couples objectification of their mystical immediacy and their ensuing graced living, or, life of prayer.Through scholarly research and supporting, concrete interviews of couples, Soto sketches out some of the ways the lovers cooperate with the precept to be in love. The ethic is framed around the developments and conversions in Lonergans trajectory that moves from eros to friendship and to a special order of charity.


Human Sexuality, Ethics, Spirituality, Bernard Lonergan

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