Karim F Hirji is a retired Professor of Medical Statistics and a Fellow of the Tanzania Academy of Sciences. A recognized authority on statistical analysis of small sample discrete data, the author of the only book on the subject, he…
Religion, Society and the Pandemic: A complex entanglement
In nearly three years, starting from early January 2020, the coronavirus directly and indirectly consumed the lives of nearly 20 million people worldwide. This book explores the interplay between the coronavirus pandemic and religion on the theological, institutional and societal dimensions. It focuses on Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and secularism, but some minor faith systems are also covered. Exploring the evolution of the pandemic in seventeen nations, it asks: Was religious belief an obstacle or a positive factor in understanding the scientific basis of the coronavirus pandemic? Did religious institutions, leaders and laity facilitate or block the implementation of the official pandemic control measures? Was the role played by religion in the coronavirus pandemic affected by historical, social, economic and political factors? How did secularism operate in the coronavirus pandemic? Did the coronavirus pandemic enhance or undermine religiosity? The basic aim is to draw lessons from this pandemic that will facilitate how humanity may deal with future pandemics in a just and egalitarian social order.
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