At the height of lockdown in the UK, Christian theologian and author Tom Wright wrote a book called God and the Pandemic. The book raised the questions: ‘Does anyone know what is going on? Why is this happening? Is someone trying to tell us something? What are we supposed to do about it?’
Wright says that while people adopt different strategies to cope with Covid-19, including the idea that we should just self-isolate, watch plenty of Netflix, and wait for things to get better, the experience of others is very different. ‘In the refugee camps, in the multi-storey tower blocks, in the slums, the suffering gets worse, and the sorrow rises from the whole world, like a pall of smoke, shaping the question we hardly dare ask, Why?’
Now Wright has been interviewed about his book by the public intellectual Miroslav Volf, on a podcast, For the Life of the World, produced by the Yale Centre for Faith & Culture. In the conversation (click the player above to listen) they talk about the problem of evil, the importance of empathy, presence and action, waiting for God through the crises of human life, and the resurrection of Jesus as God’s response to suffering.
Photo: Edwin Hooper