“Professor, I noticed during your speech that you have a religious icon around your neck.”

“Oh? Yes, I like to wear it to remind me of what lays beyond my theories, in the realm of faith that no theorem may penetrate.”

“But how can a man of logic and mathematics say that? Why not rely on them to provide concrete answers to all questions?”

“Ah, clearly you are not very familiar with my friend Kurt Gödel and his incompleteness theorem. Allow me to enlighten you: there will always be problems that cannot be solved, things beyond human comprehension. Logic, mathematics, science…they are all abstractions, conceits, rooted in our human nature. Useful ones, yes. Valuable, and not to be taken lightly or suppressed by the ignorant, not when they have taught us so much and brought us so far. But still, ultimately, limited.”

“Why that religion, then, instead of another?”

“Why any religion? I find it useful to participate in the cultural life of my community, of my people, as well. They have had a place in their home for faith for two thousand years. Even if I feel they were often in error, or led to error–and I do–that is not something to be discarded lightly.”

“But what about abortion, and married priests, and discrimination, and infallibility and all that?”

“You are speaking of doctrine, my friend, not faith. Doctrine is a human construct, laid atop the unknowable of the divine and subject to the same human failings.”

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