COVID-19 exacerbated the many horrors that individuals, families, and communities throughout the globe experience every day. Inadequate health care, unjust wages and lack of workers' rights, food deserts and malnutrition, fascism, cultural and environmental imperialism, and corrupt leadership are but some of the myriad oppressions plaguing our world. The United States is enduring the triune pandemics of COVID-19, white nationalist supremacism, and neoliberal globalization in a manner that defies the vision for God's intended creation. We are living in a seemingly apocalyptic world as we glimpse what a ruined, dystopian future might look like.
Our discipline calls us to speak into the public sphere and to extend viral care and advocate for viral justice. The 2021 Annual Study Conference affords us the opportunity to learn from those inside and outside our Society who are positioned to speak prophetic truth into our apocalyptic world and ivory-towered privilege. We are inviting a range of practitioners from various disciplines to aid Society members in articulating a public theology of viral care and viral justice in an apocalyptic world. Our hope is that the fruit of the online conference will (1) highlight humanity’s capacity for resilience and resistance amid brokenness and horror, (2) inform pastoral theological praxis and scholarship that radically envisions new societies and modes of human flourishing, and (3) confirm our commitment to stand in solidarity with communities who have been and will be most impacted by these triune pandemics for years to come.