Providence Public Lecture Series 2020
The Social Construction of Reality: How it Works and How it’s True
Presentation by: Dennis Hiebert (PhD, University of Manitoba) is the Providence Department Head of Arts and Sciences. He is also editor of the Journal of Sociology and Christianity, a past president of the Christian Sociological Association, and the author of Rationality, Humility, and Spirituality in Christian Life (Cascade, 2020).
The 2020 Providence Public Lectures will demonstrate the impressive range of expertise among Providence faculty, whose topics will include politics, theology, morality, history, psychiatry, worship, and social construction. Presenting in Winnipeg and Steinbach, Providence professors are excited to bring their scholarship into the public square. Attendees can expect to be intellectually stimulated, perhaps challenged, and to come away with a new appreciation for Christian higher education.
All lectures are free to attend – no registration required.
Lecture Synopsis: The world humans inhabit has at least two dimensions: the physical and the cultural. The physical includes our human bodies and all that exists in nature apart from them. The cultural includes our knowledge, beliefs, values, norms, technologies, and social institutions. Together, they comprise our shared, lived reality which we experience as objectively factual and subjectively meaningful, independent of our own volition. The “social construction of reality” is the understanding that society is creatively invented and actively produced by humans, not something given to humans. It is concerned with whatever passes for knowledge in a society, regardless of its ultimate (in)validity, by whatever criteria. So by what processes does social construction happen? How should it be evaluated? And what are its implications for religion?