SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.21 issue1Thinking of Biko in the Time of Covid-19Experiencing the Covid-19 Outbreak Socially: On Some Recent Philosophical Contributions author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google



On-line version ISSN 2413-3086
Print version ISSN 1561-4018


GIDDY, Patrick. Solidarity at Issue: Pandemics and Religious Belief. Phronimon [online]. 2020, vol.21, n.1, pp.1-15. ISSN 2413-3086.

A global pandemic such as that of the 2020 Covid-19 corona virus, causing great suffering and loss of life, brings home the difficult conditions that make for our fragile human life. But the question that religious belief poses, about "natural evil" in a world created by a loving God, satirised by Voltaire in the 18th century, masks the more existential problem, the possibility of greater human solidarity. In the background is the Deist view of God complementing the "polite society" of mutual benefit and guaranteeing the latter's benevolent outcome. It is a worldview, as Charles Taylor (2007) explains, that has put aside the premodern idea of human transformation, that was symbolised by religious virtuosi, saints, theophanies, and so on, now looked upon with suspicion by modernity. But the possibility of transformation, of a generous human response to suffering, is what is called for in a pandemic. In Camus' novel, The Plague, we see the more authentic response that resists being boxed in by religious enthusiasts to a constricted and ideological affirmation of a cosmic picture that obscures the fault-lines of bourgeois society.

Keywords : Camus; solidarity; Charles Taylor; pandemic; Voltaire; religion.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License