Monday, March 21, 2011

A "Catholic difference"? (Part 1)

One of the speakers at the retreat that I attended this past Saturday was introduced as a psychologist. Taking the microphone himself, he clarified that he was not just a psychologist but a Catholic psychologist, and added "and that makes a big difference."

When I am asked about my job, I say that I am a mathematician. What if I were to add, "and I am a Catholic mathematician"? Would that make a big difference?

Or at the times when I mention that I would in an office, what if I were to add, "and I am a Catholic who works in an office"? Would that make any difference?

Unlike the field of psychology, where Catholic doctrine may make an explicit contribution, I do not know that any actual mathematical ideas can be characterized as "Catholic." (Am I overlooking any?) Therefore, in practice, I probably would not mention my Catholicism when mentioning my occupation.

But, even if the actual mathematics that I do is not influenced by my Catholicism, is the way in which I do that mathematics at all influenced by me being Catholic? To be a Catholic mathematician who works in an office, what would that mean?

1 comment:

  1. Well, you say "For Christ all the Time," so it should. Is it not so that all of your work should be done for and dedicated to God? If so, your work as a mathematician is furthered by your Catholocism. Perhaps you gain grace because of it, grace to be a better mathematician.


Thanks for your comment!