Dr. Michael Shute

Dr. Michael ShutePosition

We are sad to announce the passing of our colleague, Dr. Michael R. Shute, on January 3, 2020, in Halifax. Dr. Shute taught in our Department from 1988 to September 2019 when he retired having been diagnosed with ALS. He is remembered fondly by his colleagues and the thousands of students he taught.



S.T.D. Regis College, 1991
Th.D. University of Toronto, 1991
S.T.L. Regis College, 1989
M.T.S. Atlantic School of Theology, 1981
B.A. Acadia University, 1972


Office: 5031 Arts & Administration
Telephone: (709) 864-8172
Email: mshute@mun.ca

Research Interests

My research is primarily devoted to understanding the work of Canadian philosopher and theologian Jesuit Bernard Lonergan. I am interested in the interdisciplinary methodology of functional specialization and economic theory as they are relevant to social ethics, legal theory and the theology of history. I also conduct research in theological aesthetics.

Current Research

I am co-editor, with Patrick Brown of Seattle University Law School, of the open-source Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis hosted by Memorial University. The next issue is devoted to the topic of functional history. I am co-editing with Patrick Brown of Seattle University Law School an edition of The Selected letters of Bernard Lonergan. With Bruce Anderson of St. Mary’s University, I am currently writing several articles on aspects of ethics and legal philosophy. I am working on an article on Lonergan’s philosophy of art and I continue ongoing work on Lonergan’s economics.

Courses Taught

RELS 2610 Introduction to Religious Ethics
RELS 3640 Religion and Bioethics
RELS 3650 Religion and Social Justice
RELS 6718 Special Topics in Christian History and Theology
RELS 6840 Special Topics in the Philosophy of Religion
RELS 6820 Special Topics in Religion and Culture

Student Supervision

I am happy to supervise Master's degrees and projects in the areas of methodology, social ethics, religion and culture (especially film and music), Christian thought, and the philosophy of religion. I have been an external Ph.D. examiner for McGill University and The Yarra Theological Union.

M.A Theses

Boyco, Heather (in progress). Research topic: The Transcendental Core of Arne Naess’ Deep Ecology
Bruce, Jonah (2016). Lonergan’s Early Development in Ethics: A Study of Archives Notes on General Ethics [A Metaphysics of Customs]
Mosdell-Wadman, Wendy (2016). Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest of Them All? Why, Not You, My Dear: A Conversation with Bernard Lonergan’s Theory of Evil as Privation of the Good.
Courey, Rachel (2014). Getting To Reconciliation: Lonergan And Religious Conflict Transformation.
Bishop, Danielle (2010). Feminist Theology, Christianity, and the Problem of Patriarchy: Toward an Alternative Perspective.
O'Neill, Joanne (2005). The Sacred in Art: An Interpretive Study of Lonergan's Theory of Art.
Brosnan, Eileen (2003). The Movies Shoulda Been Snow White But They Drifted: The International Federation of Catholic Alumnae Responds to the Movie Menace: 1922-1935.
Rosales, Janna (2002). Method in Ecology: Bernard Lonergan and Catholic Environmental Ethics.
Brodie, Ian (2001). Bernard Lonergan's Method and Religious Studies: Functional Specialties and the Academic Study of Religion.

B.A. Honours Essays

Khalili, Donnamarie (2010). The ethical treatment of pedophiles in the criminal justice system.
LeDrew, Chris (2007). Scriptural symbolism: Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde (Co-supervised with Dr. Don Nichol, Department of English, MUN)
Brosnan, Eileen (1999). Film as a spiritual journey: "And all this time, the American dream was in my own backyard!".

Recent Publications


  • “Communicating Macroeconomics Dynamics Functionally.” In Seeding Global Collaboration. Ed. Philip McShane. Vancouver: Axial Press 2016, 173-194.
  • Bruce Anderson and Michael Shute, “The Need for a Better Understanding of Reasoning and Feelings in Legal Decision Making,” Proceedings of the Second Special Workshop held at the 27th Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy in Washington D.C, Edited by André Ferreira Leite de Paula and Andrés Santaocoloma, Archiv fur Rechts und Sozialphilosophie- Behest 151 (Stuggart: Franz Steiner Verlag, (2016), 115-130.


  • “The Need for a Better Understanding of Reasoning and Feelings in Legal Decision Making,” Archiv fur Rechts und Sozialphilosophie, Franz Steiner Verlag, 28 pages. Accepted for publication October 2015.
  • “The Procedural and Contextual Aspects of Objectivity in Legal Reasoning,” in Truth and Objectivity in Law and Morals, ed. H. Yoshino, A. Santacoloma Sanatacoloma, G. Villa Rosas, (ARSP-Beiheft 148), (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2015/16, 81-95.
  • “Functional Collaboration as the Implementation of Lonergan’s Method, Part 2: How Might We Implement Functional Collaboration?” Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education, volume 24, No. 2 (2013): 159-190 [republished in the Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis, Volume 8 (2015): 67–92.]
  • “Functional Collaboration as the Implementation of ‘Lonergan’s Method’ Part 1: For What Problem is Functional Collaboration the Solution?” Divyadaan: Indian Journal of Philosophy and Education, volume 24, No. 1 (2013): 1-34. [republished in the Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis, Volume 8 (2015): 93-116]


  • “Lonergan’s Economics and the Catholic Social Justice Tradition,” Lonergan Workshop, vol. 25 (2014): 333-348.


  • Lonergan's Discovery of the Science of Economics. University of Toronto Press.
  • Lonergan's Early Economic Research. University of Toronto Press.
  • “The Two Fundamental Notions of Economic Science and the Economic Crisis.” The Lonergan Review, volume 2 (2010): 95-106.
  • “The Original Construction of Lonergan’s Exchange Structure Model.” Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis, volume 5 (2010): 69-93.
  • “Real Economic Variables.” Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Education, vol. 21 (2010): 183-194.


  • “‘Let Us be Practical’ – The Beginnings of the Long Process to Functional Specialization in the ‘Essay in Fundamental Sociology.’” Ed. John Dadosky. Meaning and History in Systematic Theology: Essays in Honor of Robert M. Doran, S.J. (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 2009): 465-485


  • Improving Moral Decision-Making (with William Zanardi). Axial Press.


  • “Economic Analysis Within Redemptive Praxis: An Achievement of Lonergan’s Third Decade.” Lonergan Workshop 14 Atlanta: Scholars Press, (1998): 243-264.


  • “Emergent Probability and the Ecofeminist Critique of Hierarchy.” Lonergan and Feminism Ed. Cynthia Crysdale. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994): 146-74.


  • The Origins of Lonergan's Notion of the Dialectic of History: A Study of Lonergan's Early Writings on History. University Press of America.
  • “Dialectic in the Analytic Conception of History.” Ed. Timothy P. Fallon, Presentations and Discussions from the VIIth Annual West Coast Eleanor Giuffre Memorial Lonergan Conference, March 24-26, 1993: 32-69.


  • “Liberalism, Historicity, and the Biblical Tradition.” Liberal Democracy and the Bible. Ed. Kim Ian Parker. (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellon Press, 1992): 155-197.

Recent Conference Presentations

  • “Generalized Empirical Method and Philosophy.” Atlantic Region Philosophers Association, St. Mary’s University, Oct. 13-14, 2017.
  • Bruce Anderson and Michael Shute, “Simple Interpretation, Insights and Texts.” Legal Theory and Legal Philosophy Conference (Theme: Modern Legal Interpretation: Legalism or Beyond?) Ljubljana, Slovenia, November 18, 2016.
  • Bruce Anderson and Michael Shute, “The Unity and Diversity of Practical Reason.” Special Workshop, Law and Morals, International Philosophy of Law Society, Lisbon Portugal, July 2017.
  • Bruce Anderson and Michael Shute, “Science-Law Analogies: The Need for Language that Refers to Mental Acts.” The Centre for Research in Language and Law (CRILL) 4th International Conference Law, Language and Communication, Caserta, Italy, May 27, 2016.
  • Bruce Anderson and Michael Shute. "The Need for a Better Understanding of Legal Reasoning and Feelings in Legal Decision Making." IVR World Congress of Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory Conference. George Washington University, Washington DC, U.S.A. 2015.
  • “Communicating Macroeconomics Dynamics Functionally” for the 6th International Lonergan Conference: Functional Collaboration in the Academy: Advancing Bernard Lonergan’s Central Achievement, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, July 21-25, 2014.
  • Keynote Address, The Two-Circuit Approach to Economic Development for the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network Colloquium, University of New Brunswick, June 12, 2013.
  • Keynote Address, “Functional Collaboration as the Implementation of ‘Lonergan’s Method,” Australian Lonergan Workshop, Melbourne Australia, May 26, 2013.
  • “The Flight of the Harmonica and its Player as Part of the Seamless Symphonic Christ (a.k.a. The Mystical Body of Christ)” Halifax Lonergan Conference, July 17, 2012.
  • “Objectivity as Intelligent Inquiry and Critical Reflection” (with Bruce Anderson), Legal Theory Spring Workshops, School of Law, University of Edinburgh, May 2012.
  • “Lonergan’s Economics and the Catholic Social Justice Tradition,” Boston Lonergan Workshop, June 23, 2011.
  • “Reading For a New Political Economy in Light of Functional History” for SQEME seminar on Functional Collaboration, 2011.
  • “Real Economic Variables and Economic Recovery.” Workshop presentation for the Economics and Business Ethics Workshop, Lonergan Workshop, June 23, 2011.
  • “Functional Collaboration in Economics: A Short History and a Long Haul” for Halifax Lonergan Conference: Project Global Collaboration, July 2009.
  • "A Context for Lonergan's Research in Economics" Halifax Lonergan Conference, 2008.
  • “Ethics in Economics and Business.” Panel Presentation, Halifax Lonergan Conference, May 31, 2008.
  • "On Promising Anonymity and Confidentiality in Research" (with Tim Seifert). The Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, Saskatoon, 2006. 2006. 2nd Author.

Recent Funding and Awards

  • SSHRC/Vice President Research Grant, “The Letters of Bernard Lonergan” December 2014-May 2016.
  • Aid to Scholarly Publications Program (Lonergan’s Discovery of the Science of Economics), Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2007.
  • Aid to Scholarly Publications Program (Lonergan’s Early Economic Research: Text and Commentary), Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2007.