Theology in lockdown

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David Fergusson


The starting point for this paper is to reflect on Karl Barth’s assertion that that, when faced with a major crisis, the most appropriate response for Christian theology is to carry on as if nothing has happened. David Fergusson emphasises the need for humility and very careful thought in a situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic, however this does not mean that we must remain silent. Three points for reflection are offered: (1) an examination of how ideas about God’s providence, and our ability to give meaning to calamitous events, have changed over time; (2) consideration of what lessons might be learned from the experience of living through a pandemic in terms of what it means to be human; and (3) thoughts on the theme of hope in the teaching and life of Jesus, and implications and opportunities for the church.

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