Spiritual disciplines are often viewed primarily as a means to draw us closer to God. While these practices do deepen and enrich our "vertical" relationship with God, Kyle David Bennett argues that they were originally designed to positively impact our "horizontal" relationships--with neighbors, strangers, enemies, friends, family, animals, and even the earth. Bennett explains that this "horizontal" dimension has often been overlooked or forgotten in contemporary discussions of the spiritual disciplines.
Kyle did his Ph.D. at Fuller Seminary with Rich Mouw & Jamie Smith (Calvin College) and wrote his dissertation on fasting. He studied existentialism and phenomenology with an eye to society and culture but is now writing on citizenship, social virtues, and healthy interpersonal interaction in North American democratic society. Kyle taught theology, philosophy, and ethics at Azusa Pacific University, Providence Christian College, and The Kings College. He also had a stint as the Reviews Editor over at Comment Magazine.
Kyle's first book Practices of Love: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life of the World is recently released from Brazos Press in August, 2017 (#practicesoflove). His next project looks at the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and our need for healing gestures and expressions in North American democratic discourse. It's tentatively titled "Practices of Hope: Fruits of the Spirit for the Healing of Culture."