[ by Charles Cameron — if there’s a pole star these days, it’s surely Dr Fauci ]
Here it is: behold and marvel!
The Dr. Fauci Of The 1918 Spanish Flu —- More than a century ago, epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Tuttle prescribed face masks and social distancing to slow the influenza pandemic. He made a lot of enemies—but it worked. @forbeshttps://t.co/qKv4T6nT3e
[ by Charles Cameron — two book compilations on the virus — one about Christianity, one about world religions — and a handful of articles, plus one paper on cartel use of coronavirus, non-religious but still of interest ]
I was introduced to two books on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on religions via the New Religions Movement mailing list. The more interesting by far, from my own point of view, since it is more diverse and yet precise in pinpointing many of its topics, is:
Freedom of religion is certainly one of the areas in which the coronavirus confronts religion, and in which on occasion religion may confront the coronavirus — as the breadth of papers here clearly illustrates:
Note in particular, of very specific Christian interests:
Enrica Martinelli, Orthodox Easter Covid-19: Israel allows the opening of the Holy Supulcher to receive the “Light of Resurrection
Pierluigi Consorti, Coronavirus emergency in the monastic autonomous republic of Mount Athos. Contagion without covid-19
Matteo Carni, Vatican City State and Covid-19 emergency
And addressing non-Christian religions:
Caterina Gagliardi, Saudi Arabia’s caution in times of health emergency
Chiara Lapi, The Saffron Wave Against Virus. The Hindu Nationalists and the Covid-19 Emergency
Vasco Fronzoni, In Pakistan the mosques will remain open for Ramadhan but with restrictions
Enrica Martinelli, The Talmud teaches: “When pestilence is in the city, stay inside”
This, as you might imagine from its title, is exclusively concerned with Christianity, albeit globally and across denominational boundaries:
Contributors to this eBook come from ten different countries—within North America, Europe, and the Antipodes—and represent 12 different Christian denominations including Mainline, Catholic, and Nondenominational churches.
It remains only for me to list a few articles from news sources detailing Saudi and Indian responses to COVID-19:
The Hajj — the major pilgrimage to and circumambulation of the Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, obligatory on all Muslims with the means to support it — has been cancelled this year on account of the coronavirus. The most useful account I have run across is:
Perhaps the most significant disruption of the Hajj occurred in
One of the earliest significant interruptions of the hajj took place in A.D. 930, when a sect of Ismailis, a minority Shiite community, known as the Qarmatians raided Mecca because they believed the hajj to be a pagan ritual.
The Qarmatians were said to have killed scores of pilgrims and absconded with the black stone of the Kaaba – which Muslims believed was sent down from heaven. They took the stone to their stronghold in modern-day Bahrain.
Hajj was suspended until the Abbasids, a dynasty that ruled over a vast empire stretching across North Africa, the Middle East to modern-day India from A.D. 750-1258, paid a ransom for its return over 20 years later.
Also of note is the hadith quoted:
If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.
Compare the title of Enrica Martinelli‘s piece above: The Talmud teaches: “When pestilence is in the city, stay inside” — DoubleQuote !! The hadith is “agreed as authentic” and found in two of the central collections of ahadith, S?ah?i?h? al-Bukha?ri? 5396, and S?ah?i?h? Muslim 2218.
I have sung aarti myself in Haridwar, one of the sacred cities beside the Ganges: “Twameva Mata” — “You are my Mother” — appropriate for Mother’s Day. Ah Well, Aarti in Varanasi, the ceremonial depicted above, has been shut down by reason of the coronavirus.
Also largely stopped in Varanasi is cremation at the burning ghats — taken to be a sure route to paradise, with bodies brought in from around India. The Ganges, which carried away
[ by Charles Cameron — Kurosawa, and a celebrated shot from Jean-Luc Godard ]
Godard‘s shot is from La Chinoise, 1967. I don’t know offhand what film or year the Kurosawa shot is from, but I’m betting it came before the Godard. Kurosawa’s is a moving shot, the man disappearing behind the books, while Godard’s shot has to hold steady for the sake of the weapon.. Note that the gun emplacement in Godard‘s shot is within its ideological context.
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