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Walter Brueggemann on Faith during COVID-19

Walter Brueggemann is a world-renowned Old Testament scholar and the author of more than 100 books. He is an ordained United Church of Christ minister and the William Marcellus McPheeters professor emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.

I recently read an interview with Professor Brueggemann that began with this question.

“Would you speak first to the level of concern many of us have about the COVID-19 pandemic and our need to believe that God is present and will see us through this?”

Brueggemann: Well, I think our concern is obviously grounded in reality — and it is very acute. I think what happens depends on whether we have the courage and imagination to devise a new way of being human together or whether we just go back to the way things used to be.

That would be a very terrible, missed opportunity if we do that — since the way we were was not working very well for an awful lot of people. We ought not to be returning to that.

What has happened during this virus is that we have been able to gain a new vision of neighborliness. And the question for us now is, “How shall we take up this new vision and put it to good use and good public expression?” So, that is what I think our work is, and I think it is fair to say that God will see us through all this. But God will not do our work, and we have huge work to do. We cannot simply neglect that work and leave it in God’s hands.

I encourage you to read the rest of this interview here. It will be well worth your time.

— Fr. George