Monday, August 31, 2020

Reading Hebrews in a Time of Pandemic

New article:

Andrew T. Lincoln. "Reading Hebrews in a Time of Pandemic: Heroism and Hope in the Face of Fear." Expository Times 131.11 (2020): 471–79.


"Despite its well-known difficulties, the epistle to the Hebrews offers resources for reflection in a time of pandemic. Covid-19 has, in its own way, exposed how the existential fear of death can be crippling in its dominance and yet also provoke heroic actions. In the midst of its catastrophic effects for individuals and societies there has also been a demand for some signs of hope that might sustain efforts to find a better future. To read Hebrews in this setting is to be reminded that some of its major themes resonate with the experience of the pandemic’s broad characteristics. It deals with its recipients’ perceived bondage to the fear of death. It claims that this fear has been overcome through the heroic death of Christ, whose pattern of life is to be emulated in the heroism of his followers. It sets these topics within an overall message of hope, in which God’s action in the exalted Christ is seen as both a ‘word against death’ and the promise of a better world. The article explores further the potential appropriation for present-day readers of Hebrews’ treatment of each of these topics—fear of death, heroism and hope."

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