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Prov Sociology Professor Publishes Second Book

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Dr. Dennis Hiebert has a new book out.

Dr. Dennis Hiebert, a sociology professor at Providence University in Otterburne, has just published a new book. Rationality, Humility, and Spirituality in Christian Life from Cascade Books presents three interconnected essays on how Christians are to express and live out their faith when confronted and humbled by their limitations and human finitude.

This is Hiebert’s second book. His first, Sweet Surrender: How Cultural Mandates Shape Christian Marriage, came out in 2013.

The latest book explores the cultural shift from religiosity to spirituality in society generally, and in Christian life particularly.

“I hope readers will be able to comprehend the excessive rationality that modern society has built into both the cognitive structure (how we think) and organizational structure (how we live) of contemporary Christian life,” Hiebert says. “I hope they will then hear the call to live out an authentic attitude of humility.”

Although a sociologist, the book draws from a wide array of disciplines, including psychology, philosophy, history, cultural studies, and religious studies. And although it’s written from an academic perspective, it also has pastoral undertones.

The book identifies three aspects of Christian life that are problematic. The first aspect is the extreme rationalization of action and rationalism of belief that have come to characterize modern Christianity. The second is the need for Christians to live with intellectual humility that overbearing rationality makes less likely. The third is the question of how Christians today practice faith. Is it as more of an externally determined and regulated religiosity? Or as an internally differentiated and open spirituality?

In addition to being a professor of sociology, Hiebert serves as the department head of Arts and Sciences at Providence. He is also editor of the Journal of Sociology and Christianity and a past president of the Christian Sociological Association.

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