Covid-19: Environment, Justice and the Future – Review
This little booklet responds promptly and thoughtfully to the current pandemic; as framed by Timothy Howles’s introduction, it explores how the world may be changing, how this relates to the environmental crisis, and how Christians might respond.
Martin Hodson summarises the science and history of the virus, as currently understood, highlighting underlying social, political and economic factors. He concludes that, although the virus itself is a “natural evil”, its spread and impact are principally the fault of humanity, and of what can be described as structural sin. Margot Hodson discusses environmental and justice impacts of the pandemic. She identifies positives such as reduced air pollution and a perceived sense of community, but notes how these are limited and often outweighed by the negative. Local and global injustices are discussed, including the combined impacts of the virus, structural racism and climate breakdown. She reflects on the “groaning” of creation, and the role of the Church as the healing body of Christ.
Ruth Valerio’s section is entitled “Looking forward to a better world” but cautions against rushing into premature answers. She outlines the Tearfund “World rebooted” campaign which focuses on three positives: awareness of interconnectedness, valuing of life over productivity and the opportunity to reshape society, to address domestic and global poverty and environmental issues, especially climate breakdown.
The conclusion, again by Timothy Howles, calls upon Christians to work towards a society where “justice, healing and reconciliation are available to all”. There is probably little that is new in this booklet to Green Christian readers, but it provides a reliable and accessible introduction to the issues.