NOTE FROM THE SENIOR EDITOR
This volume is dedicated mainly to the crisis created by the Covid pandemic. This crisis caused a shaking of the spiritual and social foundations of almost all the traditional societies. The articles focus upon the interactions between society, religion, and science, in an effort to understand what precisely happened, and what the meaning of what happened is. Authors expressed their own views on the above subjects and the final result is that we thus have an all encompassing picture of the spiritual scenery that was created by the pandemic. I thank the two guest editors for their great job.
– Fr Nikolaos Loudovikos, Senior Editor
The years 2020 and 2021 will linger in memory as the anni horribilesof the COVID-19 pandemic—with 2022 passing the baton to global security concerns of war and peace while the pandemic is still ongoing. The predicament of the pandemic poses considerable challenges to our societies: from our everyday life and our collective interaction with and understanding of science, to our ecclesial life and our theology. This special issue of Analogia is dedicated to the study of the relationship between the pandemic and the church, science and religion, in the predominantly Orthodox countries of Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, and Greece during 2020 & 2021, yet it also addresses a wider aspect relating to the representations of ‘science’ and ‘religion’ in the public square of these countries and beyond.
On Saturday 9 April 2022, we convened a virtual workshop on ‘Representations of science and religion in the public square of predominantly Orthodox countries during COVID-19’, jointly hosted by IOCS Cambridge and the Faculty of Theology ‘St Clement of Ohrid’ in Skopje, which formed the basis for the present issue.
In the first paper, Dr Sotiris Mitralexis provides insights fromGreece, with a paper titled ‘Religion as Science, Science as Religion, and an Unwelcome Reformation: Science and Religion in the Public Square during COVID-19—a Greek Orthodox Case Study’. Dr Vladimir Cvetković from the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, offers an overview of developments inSerbia in his paper ‘Creationism, Communion and Vaccines: Science and Religion in the Serbian Orthodox Church’. The third paper, onRomania and by Dr Alexandru Racu (Hyperion University, Bucharest), studies ‘the Romanian Orthodox Church and its Attitude towards the Public Health Measures Imposed during the COVID-19 Pandemic’. Two papers on Bulgaria follow: Professor Smilen Markov’s (University of Veliko Tarnovo & Regent’s Park College, Oxford) ‘COVID-19 and Orthodoxy: Uncertainty, Vulnerability and the Hermeneutics of Divine Economy’, and Professor Georgi Kapriev’s (St Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia) ‘COVID-19 Crisis, Social Panic, Religious and Academic Life in Bulgaria’. Revd Prof. Nikolaos Loudovikos (University Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki, IOCS Cambridge & University of Winchester), the Senior Editor of Analogia, offers the epilogue to this special issue on the pandemic.
Both for the workshop preceding it and for the present publication, we gratefully acknowledge the support provided by a subgrant from the John Templeton Foundation in the context of project #61549, ‘New Horizons for Science and Religion in Central and Eastern Europe’ at the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion (IRC), University of Oxford—the subgrant itself having been jointly hosted at the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge and at IOCS Cambridge. It goes without saying that the opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the John Templeton Foundation. During the latter stages of this publication’s completion, Sotiris Mitralexis was supported by the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, Grant Ref. MR/S031669/1: ‘Orthodox Christian Material Ecology and the Sociopolitics of Religion’, which he gratefully acknowledges.
– Dr Sotiris Mitralexis & Revd Dr Milan Đorđević, Guest Editors