For such a time as this: The call to a deeper solidarity

For such a time as this: The call to a deeper solidarity

The Rev’d Duncan Dormor
Guest Editorial – Lent 2021

‘There is a time to dismantle and a time to build up’ (Ecclesiastes 3)

We are in a time of breaking down, or disorientation, of uncertainty, of not knowing: A time of loss and lament and liminality. Vaccines are rolling out as variants are replicating. Western societies have found themselves vulnerable, uniquely so in modern times, and many within more fragile societies are suffering the terrible consequences of profound economic and political impacts.

It has been a multi-faceted crisis, a poly-pandemic with devastating impacts on livelihoods, health, education; plunging millions of people into malnutrition and extreme poverty, and exacerbating the challenges faced by displaced persons and vulnerable people.Submerged patterns of change and the ‘hidden pandemics’ – of gender-based violence, mental health, alcoholism and suicide – are coming to light. Economic inequality has deepened, and under the cover of lockdown, the darkness of political repression has been ratcheted up in many countries. Covid-19 has, and will continue to change – how we are, who we are and how we are with each other for years to come.

What lies ahead?

It is a global pandemic: It requires a global solution.

The world is crying out for a renewed vision of global solidarity. As a community of nations, will we build up or fragment? The range of scenarios is wide open: A spirit of international cooperation could take hold. New multilateral solutions may be fostered alongside a digital and green economic recovery. Alternatively, nations may continue to turn inwards, to ‘self-isolate’, to blame others for their woes. With shrinking global horizons, vaccines will be hoarded; policies of economic protectionism pursued. Or perhaps some nations and regions will recover and prosper, whilst others remain trapped in negative economic and political cycles.

The world is crying out for a renewed vision of global solidarity across borders of identity and nation with new modes of responsibility and justice …

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