Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

6-4-2011

Abstract

In the inaugural issue of The Journal of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences, James Bradley, the founding editor, suggests fourteen areas that need to be addressed by Christian mathematicians who are series about integrating their faith and their work. One of those areas is the topic of this paper. Bradly frames the question: “Some thinkers (perhaps influenced by process theology) have asserted the idea that God’s creation is not a finished work but that he creates new mathematical objects through mathematicians. Is this idea theologically sound? Is it helpful for our understanding of mathematics?” I copy Bradley’s exact phrasing because I believe he poses the questions in the appropriate order: first determining the theological validity of the process movement and then secondarily examining its influence on an understanding of mathematics.

There are two specific ways in which the process attempt fails. Its first fault lies in the presuppositions that are brought to the task of integrating mathematics with Christian faith. And second, even if the process assumptions are granted, flaws remain in the implementation of those beliefs in both theological reflection and mathematical practice. The paper will close with several suggestions of how Christian mathematicians might refine the integration their faith and their discipline in these areas where the process offering fails.

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