More from Kraus … A Theological Basis for Intervention Ministries
First, then, let me explain what I mean by “catalytic.” In chemistry, of which I know very little, a catalytic agent is one that induces change without compounding with and changing the molecular structure of its host elements. “Catalysis,” however, is a process of modification, of releasing the host element from inhibitive obstructions and inducing intrinsic changes in it.
Using this as a metaphor I would describe a social catalyst as a change agent that induces desired modifications in the host culture which are integral and intrinsic to its well being. The implication is that although the changes are desirable and desired, there are inhibiting elements that prevent the changes taking place. The catalyst attempts to work respectfully and unintrusively to induce changes that will enhance the host culture.