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Episode Summary

What kind of life is worthy of our humanity? What is faith in the time of a pandemic?

What kind of life is worthy of our humanity? What is faith in the time of a pandemic? Miroslav Volf introduces "For the Life of the World," a podcast series featuring the faculty and staff of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture.

  • Introduction to the podcast (Evan Rosa)
  • 2:22 Beginning of Miroslav’s thoughts.
  • 3:30 What responding to the pandemic looks like for those professions that directly engage with tangible issues.
  • 4:20 What responding to the pandemic looks like for theologians and non-working Christians.
  • 6:00 “The question for all of us is how do we live with this disruption? How do we live with this menacing cloud that is over us? And the Christian faith—and I think theology as well—has something very important to say to that very question...The central question of the Christian faith is what kind of life is worthy of our humanity
  • 7:30 “The Christmas story, as you will recall, describes the coming of Christ into the world as ‘light shining into darkness’ (John 1:5)—darkness of imperial oppression, darkness of widespread destitution, darkness of incurable diseases, darkness of hunger, darkness of vulnerability, darkness of precarity of our fragile lives. And what better underscores the fragility of our lives than the pandemic that we are experiencing right now!
  • 8:23  “The question about the true, flourishing life for Christians is always a question of how to live that kind of a life as we are surrounded by the forces that push us to make our lives and the living of our lives false, to stifle the flourishing of our lives, to the make us languish—or to express it with the Psalmist, who was writing during the Israelite exile in Babylon; "how can we sing the Lord’s song in the strange land?" (Psalm 137:4) The current pandemic is just such strange land. We are now in many ways in exile; We’re now in the strange land; we’re now in the strange land in our very homes. Can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
  • 10:00 Is it possible that isolation can mean more than empty time—Netflix and snacking? 11:00 fundamental questions going forward: “How can we live so as not to betray our own humanity, the humanity of our loved ones, and the humanity of our neighbors? How can we do so as we live under oppressive conditions of the pandemic? The key question for us is to consider in this series of conversations we are about to introduce is What does it mean to say at this time that the God of Jesus Christ, the healer of the sick, the critic of powers, and the crucified and resurrected Savior... what does it mean to say that this God is our God?”
  • 12:20 Closing.
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