Discipleship of Jesus transforms the way we look at the world, ourselves, others and God. In short, it is this transformation of perspective which is the essence of intellectual transformation. Formation of this dimension is not just a matter of better reasoning nor academic performance, though better study skills and intellectual capabilities are not excluded. It pertains the grasp of reality by transcending subjective interpretations. Lonergen speaks of “intellectual conversion” to refer to the transformation in this dimension.
It is the Clarification and elimination of a view that knowing is like looking, objectivity is seeing. The seeking mind can be held back from its pursuit of truth by many defensive routes mind may take. It requires humility and openness to continue seeking the Truth. Intellectual conversion lets one to recognize the limitations of the knowing mind and transcend oneself to grasp reality beyond. The fruit of intellectual conversion is the gift of wisdom. Growth in this dimension prepares a person capable of authentic discernment.
Intellectual transformation requires individuals to be able to understand and express their relationship to God and Jesus Christ in personally meaningful terms. It is not simply the capacity to recite a passage from Scripture or a catechism in response to theological questions. Intellectual transformation also requires individuals to relentlessly pursue the truth and confront any form of false ideology and personal prejudices that rationalize sinful conduct. They should easily recognize beliefs that are inconsistent with Gospel values and eliminate self- deceit and self-righteousness . Furthermore, intellectual transformation “should inform every aspect of Christian growth and development such that individuals know and understand the dynamics of ongoing repentance and sound emotional growth in faith.”
In the process of ongoing intellectual transformation, they should have moved beyond mere knowledge of religious beliefs and tenets, and have come to a personal appropriation of these beliefs. It requires that individuals acquire a sufficient grasp of the theological issues and controversies surrounding their faith tradition to formulate their own position or response to these issues-Len Sperry
Virtues that support intellectual transformation
Prudence: It disposes an individual to discern true good in circumstances and to choose the right means of achieving it.
Humility: A disposition to accept reality as it is without loss of esteem even when it can cause inconvenience to oneself.
Spiritual practices to enhance intellectual transformaton
Developing wisdom and understanding: spiritual reading, committing time to silence and solitude, recognizing the sacred in all things
Self capacity to foster intellectual transformation
Critical reflection: The capacity to objectively analyse ideas, ideologies, and situations and related underlying assumptions.