Living in a World of Shocks and Resilience:
Towards a Theology of Disasters
LECTURE BY NIELS GREGERSEN • March 31, 2022
We have recently faced a series of extreme weather events in British Columbia, from summer’s heat dome to winter’s atmospheric river and ensuing floods. We continue to endure the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused massive social and economic upheaval. How do we live with such disasters? In this lecture, Professor Gregersen argues that theology and science need to address both deep-seated human experiences of resonance with our world as well as the discrepancies that we experience as shocks. Disasters call forth the need for humans to intervene in nature, while still recalling that we are ourselves part of nature. Vaccine programs are used as an example of human-nature entanglement (Ecology #3), in which we use biological creatures to train our own immune systems. Yet it is not only bodies that need to become resilient but minds, spirits, and societies as well.
Niels Henrik Gregersen is Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of several books and has edited a dozen volumes in theology and the field of science and religion. Dr. Gregersen’s research interests include science and religion, with a focus on the significance of evolutionary theory and complexity studies; contemporary theology, especially the topics of creation and incarnation; philosophical and social anthropology, especially concerning risk-taking and generosity. He lectures widely in Europe and the USA, and has been a keynote speaker at major conferences in South Africa, Australia, and Asia (China, Japan and South Korea). Learn more about Neils by seeing his academic profile or his recent videos.