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Early View

Margaret Boone Rappaport is a cultural anthropologist and biologist who is Co-Founder of the Human Sentience Project, LLC, in Tucson, Arizona USA. She is working in the fields of cognitive evolution, human spaceflight, and Mars exploration. She lectured at Georgetown and George Washington Universities.

Christopher J. Corbally, SJ, is a Jesuit priest on the staff of the Vatican Observatory and an Adjunct Associate Astronomer at the University of Arizona. As Co-Founder of the Human Sentience Project he continues his interdisciplinary interests in Earth- and space-based questions.

Riccardo Campa, philosopher and sociologist; professor at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. His research focuses mainly on sociology of science and technology, futurology, historical sociology, bioethics, and the history of ideas.

Ziba Norman is a Research Fellow at University College London. She is a theologian working on the cusp of theology and technology, with a particular interest in bio-enhancement, transhumanism and space policy.

ARTICLE:

Science and Religion Shift in the First Three Months of the Covid-19 Pandemic

The goal of this pilot study is to investigate expressions of the collective disquiet of people in the first months of Covid-19 pandemic, and to try to understand how they manage covert risk, especially with religion and magic. Four co-authors living in early hot spots of the pandemic speculate on the roles of science, religion, and magic, in the latest global catastrophe. They delve into the consolidation that should be occurring worldwide because of a common, viral enemy, but find little evidence for it. They draw parallels to biblical works, finding evidence of a connection between plague and “social strife.” They explore changes in the purviews of science, religion, and magic, and how and why they have changed, as three systems of covert risk management. They speculate on the coming wave of grief when the world populations finally decide that too many people have died, and they envision cultural changes on the other side of the pandemic, to lifestyles, travel, reverse urbanization, and living and working in smaller communities. Using an unusual approach named “crowd-sourced ethnography”, they conduct un-traditional ethnography and speculate on management of covert risk in their native countries.

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