The University of Divinity has initiated a new research theme COVID Revelations, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is centred on three interventions: disclosure, discernment and duty.
About the research theme
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has been experienced in Australia and globally as a profound disruption to human health, social relationships, economic behaviours and political arrangements. The speed and extent of this disruption is striking.
Responses to the pandemic have revealed many truths about the contemporary world.
The current situation demands theological reflection and theological conversations that listen to and take seriously the full range of experience and insight which have been generated. It calls for an intervention informed by the work of theological discernment, for research that is rigorous in its analysis, and for commitment to enabling appropriate action.
The University of Divinity has a unique responsibility, based on its vision and mission to address the issues of the contemporary world through critical engagement with Christian theological traditions. The University’s response is shaped around three interventions: disclosure, discernment and duty:
- Disclosure (the disruptive intervention of COVID):
What have we learned from what just happened? What did just happen?
- Discernment (the necessary intervention of theology):
What is the distinctive work that theology does? What theological insights can we offer?
- Duty (the constructive intervention of hope):
What do we commit to? Who are we called to be? Where do our allegiances lie? In other words, what do we do now?
Invitation to participate
You are invited to participate in a university-wide research and impact project about the COVID crisis, in partnership with others within and beyond the University.
We seek researchers to commit to activities that engage the three interventions. Activities might include:
- A hosted Zoom panel discussion
- A media piece for The Conversation, ABC, or similar
- A radio interview
- A short research project with academic outputs, and potential for future elaboration
If you are already doing, or planning, such activities, please let us know so we can support and promote these.
The University will offer resources to support activities which:
- Involve more than one UD researcher
- Address the three framing concepts above. Work may focus on one of these points, but should connect to all three.
For help developing your projects, finding suitable collaborators, media contacts, and technical support for virtual events: email@example.com (Dr Carly Osborn, Research Strategy Officer)
This is a critical moment in the life of UD as we mature and move into a vibrant research strategy. It is an opportunity to have a lasting conversation with Australian society. We warmly encourage you to join in.
COVID Revelations Taskforce:
Professor Wendy Mayer, Dean of Research Strategy, Australian Lutheran College
Dr Carly Osborn, Research Strategy Officer
Professor Peter Sherlock, Vice-Chancellor
Revd Associate Professor Sean Winter, Head of College, Pilgrim Theological College
COVID-19 Chronicles: Interview with Mark Lindsay on Australia
What impact is the COVID-19 pandemic having on religious communities around the world? In this episode, Dr Ed Kessler speaks with Reverend Professor Mark Lindsay from Trinity College Theological School about the situation in Australia.
Christianity, care and COVID-19
This online seminar reflects on the notion of theological ethics during a pandemic. Hear from Dr Dan Fleming and Dr David Carter – two leading public health and theological ethics researchers, who will provide expert insight into the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rest amidst the Unrest
Dr Rachelle Gilmour
For those who are overworked during this time of COVID-19, a whole day’s rest sounds an unrealistic luxury. For others, COVID-19 is experienced as a period of complete cessation.
Coronavirus, creation and the Creator: What the Bible says about suffering and evil
Professor Mark Brett and Rev Dr Jason Goroncy
Alongside the very many responses elicited by the coronavirus pandemic, there have emerged some profound questions for faith: what might it mean to speak in this context of a loving God who has created the world and who continues in relationship with all creatures, human and non-human, through the depths of suffering, uncertainty, exploitation and death?
Humanity cannot live by Zoom alone
Rev Associate Professor Darrell Jackson
I’ve been pondering this question, prompted by the simple reality that these things happen for a world also wrestling with a global pandemic. The extent of human-to-human engagement has been mediated digitally, via Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube. In not one of these instances, has anybody talked about what a post-COVID funeral, wedding, or birthday celebration will look like.
Worship in exile as an ‘essential service’
Professor Mark Brett and Dr Rachelle Gilmour
As churches adapt to the moral and legal demand not to hold services in our buildings, many priests, pastors and congregations of all types are exploring new technological resources that allow us to worship “together”: Zoom, Facebook and other types of live streaming to help us stay connected. But what theological resources do we have for this season of dislocation, physical isolation and crisis for our faith communities?