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Incoming theology prof says there’s “not a single thing” theology isn’t interested in

Aug 15, 2018 | News, Theological Seminary

Dr. Robert Dean holds that theology is a collective discipline—one that intersects with everything.

“Theology is not about abstract speculation, but is a very practical science that has significant and immediate implications for how we daily live out our faith,” he explains. “Furthermore, because theology is concerned with God—the creator of all things—there is not a single thing that theology is not interested in.”

Recently hired as Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at Providence Theological Seminary, Dr. Dean is looking forward to teaching his first classes at the Otterburne campus next month and points out that he appreciates the institution’s emphasis on professors being both teachers and mentors.

“I am energized by being with students in the classroom,” he says, adding that he suspects his students will appreciate his ability to bring other disciplines and elements of popular culture into dialogue with theology.

The author of two books—For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas and Leaps of Faith: Sermons from the Edge—Dr. Dean has also recently curated and edited a collection of Hauerwas’s writings and sermons. That volume—Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections—will be published this fall.

“It was an extraordinary privilege to work with one of the leading theologians of a generation,” he says of Hauerwas. Several of his own essays and sermons will be included in the book as well.

Dr. Dean, who has settled in nearby Niverville with his wife Melissa and two children, says he hopes to inspire Providence students to “be more passionate followers of Jesus, who love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.”

A recreational runner, Dr. Dean also enjoys playing baseball and golf and is looking forward to participating on some of the school’s intramural teams over the coming year.

He adds: “I have been greatly impressed by the character and quality of the people who make up the Providence community.”