‘Who is it that touched me?’ Contact Tracing the Divine in the Era of COVID19
Seminar series - Theologising in the Shadow of a Pandemic

Keynote Speaker/s

Dr Michael Jensen
Rector, St Mark’s Anglican Church

Edwina Blair
Academic Coordinator (Bible) and Graduate School Project Manager, ACOM

This is the fourth 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 will culminate in a conference.

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 on 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.


‘Who is it that touched me?’ Contact Tracing the Divine in the Era of COVID19

The contagion of COVID19 has made deadly that for which human beings yearn: touch. We must be satisfied, for now, with only prophylactic contact. A similar ambivalence haunts the notion of touch in Scripture: touch heals, but also contaminates, and even destroys. Despite the sentimentality of the Sistine Chapel, direct contact between God and Adam is deeply problematic. The hand of God touches/strikes the Egyptians with the plagues. The touch of the angel dislocates Jacob’s hip. Uzzah’s presumptuous touch of the ark of the covenant kills him. The Israelites may not touch the mountain in the desert. Who may know the divine touch, and live? We investigate this question with the assistance of Jacques Derrida and Katherine Sonderegger.

Find a Course
Back to top