Providence, Apocalypse, and the Pandemic

16 November 2022

The Sydney College of Divinity Theology Research Network (TRN) exists to promote theological research. It draws together scholars from the diverse theological disciplines (systematics/doctrine, patristic, biblical theology, ethics, liturgy) within the SCD, and provides them with a forum and focus for theological research.

The video is an online presentation of Professor Nel Ormerod’s paper, Providence, Apocalypse, and the Pandemic. The paper is the seventh in the 2020- 2021 seminar series Theologising in the Shadow of a Pandemic, an initiative of the Sydney College of Divinity Theology Research Network.

Any major upheaval such as the present pandemic raises two profound theological questions: why does a provident God allow such things to happen? And, is this a foreshadowing of an apocalyptic end time? Both involve an attempt to understand the role and purpose of history in God’s creation. Where is God taking us, where is human history destined to go? In the end, this paper argues that our view of providence is inseparable from our basic trust in God.

Do we view God as infinite loving wisdom and wise loving or do we fear that there is in the end some darkness in God that makes God unworthy of our trust and more a bargaining partner? What role then will Covid have in human history for good and for evil that it too can be encompassed in divine providence? These are the questions that will be explored in this paper.

The video concludes with responses from Emeritus Professor Robert Gascoigne.

Providence, Apocalypse, and the Pandemic

46 min

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