A noted Catholic theologian and anthropologist weaves together insights from anthropology and theology to provide an analysis of the role of the Church in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The best book I have read on the pandemic. After an unflinching diagnosis, the book is a summons to radical, active, transformative hope among those who have the wits and the courage to ‘refound’ viable community. It is framed according to Catholic Social Teaching, but has a deep appeal for those of us outside that particular frame of reference. In Arbuckle’s knowing hands the pandemic becomes a venue for radical restorative hope.”—Walter Brueggemann, author, A Gospel of Hope
“This compelling treatise incisively dissects the chaos of the pandemic and masterfully articulates rites of passage and actionable strategies for refounding a post-COVID-19 world and church. A must-read practical guide for individuals, institutions, and nations yearning for a ‘new heaven and a new earth’ animated by solidarity, compassion, and justice.”—Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar
“The pandemic has caused cultural chaos throughout the world, and only through creative and inspired leadership that is convinced of the common good can all God’s people be led to a refounding of cultural stability. Like Pope Francis, Arbuckle is convinced that this can be effectively done by living out gospel values as we engage in health care reform, politics, racial and ecological justice, and the economy. These wise pages lay out the agenda for the church’s mission in a post-COVID world.”
—Stephen Bevans, SVD, co-author, Constants in Context
“Gerald Arbuckle is a brilliant and seasoned observer of social and ecclesial realities. His rich, perceptive analyses and interpretations of the pandemic and its consequences for church and world constitute an unequaled achievement in the considerable amount of pastoral-theological reflection now emerging.”
—Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ, Loyola Marymount University
The award-winning author of Pope Francis and the People of God turns to the crisis of COVID-19, its diverse impacts on people and communities, and how the Catholic Church might respond. First, Arbuckle offers a concise summary of the social, political, and economic impact of the pandemic, and goes on to craft an anthropological model of the global crisis and its consequences for the Church and for ministry. He then clarifies the Gospel’s pastoral responses that must guide the way forward for societies and the Church.
With theological reflections and prompts at the end of each chapter, The Pandemic and the People of God provides students, clergy, and pastoral ministers with a way to understand and to implement the pastoral responses that will help heal individuals, communities, and the world.
Gerald A. Arbuckle, SM, is an award-winning author of many books, including five with Orbis—the most recent are Loneliness: Insights for Healing in a Fragmented World and Abuse and Cover-up: Refounding the Catholic Church in Trauma. A noted scholar in both theology and anthropology, he is co-director of Refounding and Pastoral Development, a research ministry, in Sydney, Australia.