Philosopher Bertrand Russell once remarked that “Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty.” But for those of us who haven’t studied math on an advanced level, it can be difficult to even guess how fractions and algebra hold deep meaning for the universe. Fortunately, some brave souls are bridging the gap between mathematical complexity and the world of meaning. As Edwin Abbott’s classic Flatland linked geometry and spirituality, some mathematicians have used the idea of “higher dimensions” to help us think about God.

Dr. Kim Jongerius earned her PhD from Colorado State University. She has maintained her interest in language throughout her career, arguing that mathematics is itself a language, and has written rules and insights connecting the mathematical and linguistic abilities of C.S Lewis, exploring connections between the languages of mathematics and faith by co-authoring chapters on dimension, infinity and proof in mathematics through the eyes of faith, and developing a cross-disciplinary honors course titled “Pattern and Structure: Mathematics and Literature.” She is a professor of mathematics at Northwestern College, a Christian liberal arts college, and she has been involved in her church as a small group leader deacon and member of the leadership team. Kim has also long been active in the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences, including terms as ACMS Board Secretary.

This excerpt from her talk shows just one dimension of her findings between religion and mathematics – you can see the full presentation here.

(This post is part of Sinai and Synapses’ project Scientists in Synagogues, a grass-roots program to offer Jews opportunities to explore the most interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science. “Does God Live in Another Dimension? (How We Assume Shapes What We Conclude)”, a talk given at Temple Mount Sinai on April 25, 2021, is the second in the series Higher Meanings: Connecting Religion and Mathematics. The next event in this series, “How Religion in Medieval Times Shaped the Jewish, Muslim and Catholic Study of Mathematics,” with Dr. Victor Katz, will be on June 10).

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