Interiority and Recovery
Seminar series - Theologising in the Shadow of a Pandemic

Keynote Speaker/s

Presenter
Rev Dr Sarah Bachelard

Respondent
Iain Radvan

This is the sixth seminar in the Seminar Series Theologising in the Shadow of a Pandemic, an initiative of the Sydney College of Divinity Theology Research Network. The series culminates in a conference to be held on 18-19 February 2022.

The seminars offer an opportunity to reflect theologically on our global situation. As theologians, we have a responsibility to our churches and to the broader community to reflect theologically on our current plight. The present COVID19 pandemic has been the cause of massive social, economic, and religious dislocation. It will impact personal relations, long-term financial and employment issues, how we view our international connections, and of course our relationship with God and our church communities. We have an opportunity to bring the resources of our faith traditions to bear, not to provide definitive answers but to explore these resources and share them both within our churches and with the larger society.

Program

Interiority and Recovery

In Australia, book titles in this genre include Upturn: A Better Normal After Covid-19, edited by Tanya Plibersek; Reset: Restoring Australia after the Pandemic Recession, by Ross Garnaut; The Kindness Revolution: How we can restore hope, rebuild trust and inspire optimism, by Hugh Mackay.

Overwhelmingly, the premise of this literature is that Covid-19 is (or could be) a crisis in the true sense of a ‘turning point’; the recovery both calls for and opens opportunities to reform (even transform) Australian society. Yet, strikingly, there is very little sense that religious communities or theological vision have any distinctive part to play in generating the ‘better normal’ to which this literature aspires. In particular, there is no real account of how we move our way of being from ‘here’ to ‘there’.

This paper seeks to explore what, from a Christian perspective, is lacking in this literature and what the contribution of Christian vision, practice, and community might be.

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