Is religion an epidemic?

Religious interpretations of epidemics

Dossier "Religion and Conspiracy Theories in Times of the Corona Epidemic"

In a first part we raise the question of how religious communities and their representatives interpret the epidemic, which interpretation patterns they use, how they differ from earlier religious and theological interpretations of pandemic and how diverse the religious interpretations are depending on the socio-historical context and fall out depending on one's religious self-image. When looking at the large churches in Germany, for example, it becomes apparent how cautiously they formulate their interpretations of the crisis. But not all religious actors move so carefully and sensitively in the religious field. Some also see the crisis as a welcome occasion to loudly bring their message into play.

Arbitrary rule and God's punishment: How an epidemic once led to conspiracy theories and religious fantasies of punishment. Historian PD Dr. André Krischer

It was hard to believe: the pandemic was approaching threateningly, and the casualty figures from France sounded terrifying. The government had therefore decided on extensive quarantine measures, advised by its experts. They were even prepared to accept massive economic losses and almost bring trade to a standstill if this could prevent infections. And despite all these measures, which seemed so rational to the government and its experts, there were people who told incredible stories about them: Infected people should either be detained in their homes or forcibly transferred to quarantine centers. Family ties shouldn't play a role when it comes to separating the healthy and the sick. If necessary, the military should be deployed inside and prevent any freedom of movement. It is therefore clear what this is about: the establishment of an arbitrary rule. Continue reading

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