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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


MASEKO, Xolani. Ecclesiological Response to Covid-19 and the Question of Meaning in Context. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2022, vol.48, n.3, pp.1-11. ISSN 2412-4265.

In the bible, Luke 12:56 talks about the need to interpret the "signs of the times" which herald and represent a new age. This idea can benefit from an intertextual reading of this text with Romans 8:18-23, which gives the understanding that the creation does signal the end times through its groaning. If this perspective is taken in the current historical paradigm it can be telling because the turn into the new millennium, the 21st century, has proved very challenging for the church. This era, together with the advent of the novel Coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, has seen the call for a different approach of doing ecclesiology in order to maintain and enhance its relevancy. In this globalised environment that has been influenced by post-modern values, there has arisen a fresh emphasis on a missional and fluid church. This is seen to be part of the "post-Christendom" ecclesial experience. It is against such an observation that this article will proceed from a conviction that the emergence and effects of the Covid-19 pandemic can be understood to be part of the "signs of the times" which the church must understand. The lessons it has posed for the church are thus relevant for the church as it continues to sail the uncharted waters of post-modernity. In the article, a pastoral cycle methodology will be employed for its interdisciplinary nature. Such questions will be explored as to the "what" of the church and Covid-19 context, and the "why" (hermeneutics of Luke 12:56), that is, the theological meaning and the strategic framework that must proffer the way forward for the church in the 21st century and beyond. The focus of the article is on the church in Southern Africa although the lessons are applicable in many contexts especially in other areas.

Palabras clave : post-Christendom; ecclesial; post-modernity; hermeneutics.

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