K. Christine Pae
Chair of the Religion Department, Associate Professor of Religion/Ethics and Women’s and Gender Studies, Denison University
The War on Covid-19, Gender & Indecent Resurgence: Thinking about God’s Solidarity with the Poor
COVID-19 is a global pandemic. In response to the pandemic, many countries chose isolationism by aggressively closing their borders before searching for the possibility of collaborating with one another. When social distance is one of the only means to stop contracting the COVID-19 virus, how can we, progressive Christians, audaciously practice solidarity and creatively imagine global peace and justice? How would transnational solidarity look if we considered the Kin-dom of God as a theological vision countering national isolationism or protectionism in the age of the pandemic?
Through the transnational feminist lens, this proposed paper analyzes COVID-19 as a global pandemic that disproportionately attacks the global poor, people of color, women, and LGBTQI. As a transnational Korean living in the United States, I analyze inequality intensified by COVID-19, comparatively approaching to the U.S. and the Korean context. The primary goal of this approach is to search for transnational solidarity when the world politics is filled with the warlike rhetoric, and the church must practice a new ecclesial gathering. Global Christianity, and liberation theologies will offer the models of transnational solidarity, including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s solidarity work with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh during the Vietnam War/ the Civil Rights Movement, Christian women’s work for international peace, crossing borders, and transnational support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Arguably, the Christian vision of the Kin-dom of God is in tension with sovereign nations of borders. A new theological discourse of sovereignty may be necessary to audaciously practice and creatively imagine transnational solidarity in the post-COVID-19 era. An alternative understanding of empathy may contribute to international solidarity.