Fighting Pandemics in a Life of Faith

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The conference aims to bring together public health researchers, theologians, religious freedom experts, policy-makers, and various stakeholders to discuss the engagement of faith-based communities and religious representatives during health policy implementation. Anyone is welcome to attend but registration is recommended.

The presentations and talks will revolve around faith-based community involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the help of examples from various states and religions. Furthermore, case studies of the main churches in Romania and England, two countries with different profiles of religiosity, will be compared and contrasted to illustrate the interplay between policy, public health, theology, and religious freedom in highly religious and more secular settings, respectively. As such, the actions of the Romanian Orthodox Church and of the Church of England during the pandemic will be discussed in order to illustrate the role of bidirectional consultations between policy-makers and religious representatives. Furthermore, specific examples from other countries and religions, such as the Islamic pilgrimage at Qom in Iran and the national and international responses of Catholic communities will provide grounds for comparisons in the context of public health policy implementation during national and community-wide emergencies.

This event will be highly informative for academics and policy-makers alike, as the overarching message will emphasise the critical role of dialogue and mutual understanding between religious representatives and state authorities, which can be best achieved through an interdisciplinary approach to public health policy implementation. Indeed, the main aim of the conference will be to discuss the lessons learned from the presented examples, which have the potential to be applied to a wide variety of public health contexts, irrespective of country, religion, or even the nature of the implemented policies themselves.

Light refreshments will be provided.


Organised by the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, in collaboration with the Romanian Ambassador to the Court of St James


Downloadable timetable.