COVID-19, Religion, & Humanity: Dispatches from the Frontlines

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down the U.S. economy, put millions of Americans out of work, overwhelmed hospitals in many cities, and taken the lives of nearly 200,000 people worldwide. While most news coverage has focused on the medical, social, economic, and political repercussions of the pandemic, the religious dimensions of COVID-19 are also momentous.

The pandemic—surging during Lent, peaking over Passover and Easter, and still spreading as Ramadan begins—has become an occasion for millions of people, whether religious or secular, to reflect on their beliefs and commitments.

Join us online as we discuss these topics with Fr. Patrick Gilger, S.J., contributing editor for America magazine, who is joining from Milan, Italy, and Anand Gopal, award-winning journalist and assistant research professor with the Center, who is joining from New York City.

Together, they will share their insights into how COVID-19 is affecting different communities around the world, as we explore these and other questions:

  • How are different religious and secular institutions around the world responding to the needs of the pandemic’s countless victims?
  • Should the claims of religious devotion—including freedom to worship—override public health demands for social distancing?
  • How are different groups coping and adapting when it comes to grieving, celebrating, performing rituals, and maintaining community in an environment of social distancing?
  • How do different religious adherents make sense of this deadly virus in light of beliefs about an all-loving God, providence, or even divine judgment?

Attendees are encouraged to submit discussion questions ahead of time via this Google Form . Questions also will be taken during the event.

Watch event video

Thursday, April 30, 2020 • 12:00noon