Since early 2020 the SCD Theology Research Network has been running a series of seminars on the topic “Theologising in the Shadow of a Pandemic.” This series will reach its climax with a conference on the same topic, to be held in 18-19 February 2022. The topic was chosen because the present Covid-19 pandemic has been the cause of massive social, economic, and religious dislocation. Its longer-term implications remain unclear. At this difficult time theologians have a responsibility to draw upon the sources of our faith to provide insights from our religious traditions from which people both inside and outside the church may draw hope and meaning. One of the strengths of the SCD in this regard is that it draws on various Christian faith traditions, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox, bringing a richness to the reflections that can speak to a wider ecclesial audience.
The seminars have covered various aspects of the topic:
- Thursday 28th May 2020: Rev Dr Doru Costache, “Affirming Creation’s Goodness in a Time of Pandemic: Patristic Insights”
- Friday 21st August 2020: Dr Rocío Figueroa Alvear, “Latin American Theology and the Pandemic”
- Friday 20th November 2020: Dr Janice McRandal, “Bye-Bye Apocalypse: political theology for after the ends of worlds”
- Friday 5th March 2021: Rev Dr Michael Jensen, “‘Who is it that touched me?’ Contact Tracing the Divine in the Era of COVID19”
- Friday 28th May 2021: Dr Ben Myer, “The uses of adversity: George Herbert and the Christian experience of affliction”
- Friday 27th August 2021: Rev Dr Sarah Bachelard, topic tbc
- Friday 5th November 2021: Professor Neil Ormerod, topic tbc
These papers will form the backbone of the upcoming conference, with the speakers benefitting from the feedback and discussion during the seminar to refine and develop their thought.
The conference committee has issued a call for papers from SCD faculty, seminar participants, and the broader theological community to contribute to the discussion and provide further insights into the topic. Papers are invited for concurrent sessions of the conference, addressing different aspects of the topic. Preference will be given to specifically theological engagement with the topic— systematic, political, liberation, feminist, liturgical, ethical, pastoral, biblical, patristic etc.
Presenters will be given a 30 minute slot, 20 minutes for the paper and 10 minutes for discussion.
- How has the pandemic shaped our experience of being church?
- Where is God to be found in suffering?
- How does the pandemic affect our understanding of divine providence?
- Who are those most affected and how should we respond?
- What possibilities does the pandemic create for people of faith?
- What voice can theologians find to speak to a secular audience in relation to the pandemic?
Proposals should be 300 words or less, and be accompanied by contact details: name, institutional affiliation, phone number, and email address. All proposals will be considered by the conference organisers for inclusion in the conference schedule.
Email: Prof Neil Ormerod at [email protected]
Deadline: Monday, 1 November 2021.