Evil, Memory, and Redemption after COVID

  • May 10, 2021
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Zoom virtual meeting


Charles Mathewes, PhD

Charles Mathewes is the Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia.  He spent much of his childhood in Saudi Arabia, and was educated at Georgetown University and the University of Chicago.

He is the author of Evil and the Augustinian Tradition and A Theology of Public Life, both with Cambridge University Press; Understanding Religious Ethics from Wiley-Blackwell; and The Republic of Grace, from Eerdmans.  Among other edited volumes, he was the Senior Editor for a four-volume collection on Comparative Religious Ethics: The Major Works for Routledge Publishers.  From 2006 to 2010, he was Editor of The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the flagship journal in the field of religious studies, and was the youngest Editor ever appointed to lead that journal.  He was Chair of the Committee on the Future of Christian Ethics for the Society of Christian Ethics, the inaugural Director of the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, and from 2010 to 2020 he served on the Theology Committee for the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.  

With his wife Jennifer Geddes, he served a four-year term as Co-Principal of one of UVA's residential colleges, Brown College at Monroe Hill.  Today he lives with his family outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

He is currently co-directing a major grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, on "Religion and its Publics."  

Evil, Memory, and Redemption after COVID

Historically, pandemics have been events that significantly affected societies, influencing not just peoples’ surface opinions and judgments, but altering their deepest assumptions and shaking their understanding of human relations and humanity’s relationship to nature and the moral order as a whole.  Will that happen with this pandemic?  How might our ways of living alter in its wake?  How do we think about responsibility, accountability, and the nature of suffering after COVID?  How will we remember this moment, and how will we relate our situation after it to our situation before?  Mathewes will discuss how previous pandemics have affected peoples’ lives, and propose some ways to reflect on how the current pandemic might change our lives going forward.

This event is part of the Spring 2021 Speaker series. 

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