31 January 2013

P.Q. & C.Q. Meet the N.E.

The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.
Thomas Friedman, 
New York Times,

While in one way we live within an era of theological and political compartmentalization, in quite another, theological reflection has never been in a better position to benefit from the analyses of the social sciences, that is to say, that which resides outside the purely religious compartment.  Immediately springing to mind in this vein are the writings of David Brooks, Malcolm Gladwell, Nate Silver and Thomas Friedman.  Eachof these authors have taken up different positions and perspectives upon what it takes to succeed, to market, to convince -- in a word, to evangelize -- in today's increasingly connected and globalized world.  A world in which the pie has slightly increased, yet those clamoring for a piece have grown exponentially.

Yesterday's column from Friedman found particular resonance with me, because of his definition of P.Q. and C.Q.  Calling them Passion Quotient and Curiosity Quotient, Friedman suggested that the ability to use developing methods of communication and innovation will not solely depend on one's intelligence, but rather the specific level of passion and curiosity that is brought to any endeavor.

The same can be said, I believe, of theology.  The development of a prayer life, familiarity with the Scripture, and above of, love of God's Christ, are clearly constitutive of all theological reflection, as well as the vine of theology which I'd call evangelical theology, but more commonly known as, pastoral theology.*  What's more, Catholics can no longer pretend as if the mere individualized achievement of prayer, reflection upon Scripture and love of Christ is sufficient expression of the Christian vocation.  Instead, asCatholics should look to developing our own PQ and CQ; in other words, Catholic IQ is no longer enough.  

A Catholic evangelicalism would be marked not only by prayer, reflection and love, but passion in this particular items.  It would also be curious, not in the manner of religious voyeurism, but rather in a constant exploration of the Tradition, whereby one becomes so imbued with the mystery of Christ, that he or she cannot help but view any challenge, any mission, through the prism of that same Christ.   

*I do not admit that pastoral theology is anything other than a focus on intelligibility of message and inductive response to particular circumstances based in the Christian kerygma, but alas, that's another post.

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