Covid-19, racism and the ‘state of exception’? A theological ethical engagement with identity and human rights in an age of ‘Corona’ and beyond




Covid-19, Racism, Biopolitics, State of exception


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the role that religion and politics play at the intersection with individual and social rights. Religiously informed political actors capitalised on fears and prejudices to further science denialism, normalise nationalist ideologies, and curtail human rights. In the United States of America, Brazil, and South Africa, it took the form of problematic political theologies. In many instances, a state of exception, as understood in the work of Giorgio Agamben, was enacted. Such actions often have biopolitical significance revolving around making political choices informed by religious beliefs that impact on individual bodies and social freedoms. This extends from individual bodies to
societies. This research employs a qualitative literature approach to investigate the intersection of political and theological beliefs during the pandemic. It highlights the impact of populist political theologies on the erosion of democracy and human rights in countries that have highly religious populations. It is argued that these strategies reach beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.


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