This paper is available to SSCS members by sending a request to the CSStudies moderator.
From the abstract: “Interiority, for Bernard Lonergan, the internationally renowned Jesuit theologian, philosopher, and methodologist of human consciousness, is the foundational self-presence that enables us to know and choose. Mary Frohlich, a leading spirituality scholar, who draws on his work, has developed the concept of critical interiority as a distinctive methodological principle for the academic study of spirituality. In my paper, however, I will argue that spirituality as lived experience and as an academic discipline is grounded in an interiority that I call authentic interiority. The term critical, like the term mindfulness, can suggest an overly intellectualist approach to spirituality. Authenticity, on the other hand, suggests more clearly, I hold, that living and studying spirituality requires the practice of a holistic integrity. Spirituality as the disciplined practice of such integrity in living life, and studying it, is a practice involving four basic operations of consciousness, namely, experiencing, understanding, judging, and deciding (including the decision to believe or trust). Being authentic with respect to each of these operations involves a different practice depending on which operation the person, group, society, or religious tradition is employing at the time. Authentic experiencing involves attending to all the relevant data; authentic understanding involves raising all the relevant questions about the data; authentic judging involves being critical about the different interpretations arrived at by understanding; and authentic deciding involves acting consistently with correct judgment for the sake of promoting the good and the lovable. I will demonstrate this ascetical practice of authentic and transformative interiority during my paper.”