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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.

The Sociology of Global Warming: A Scientometric Look

The Author: Riccardo Campa,
The theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) enjoys considerable consensus among experts. It is widely recognized that global industrialization is producing an increase in the planet’s temperatures and causing environmental disasters. Still, there are scholars – although a minority – who consider groundless either the idea of global warming itself or the idea that it constitutes an existential threat for humanity. This lack of scientific unanimity (as well as differing political ideologies) ignites controversies in the political world, the mass media, and public opinion as well. Sociologists have been dealing with this issue for some time, producing researches and studies based on their specific competencies. Using scientometric tools, this article tries to establish to what extent and in which capacity sociologists are studying the phenomenon of climate change. Particular attention is paid to meta-analytical aspects such as consensus, thematic trends, and the impact of scientific works.

Theology in Times of Pandemic

The Author: Lluis Oviedo,
A question arises regarding theology and its functions when trying to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Surely Christian faith – along with other religions – can play a role in helping to deal with this crisis, both for individuals and collectively. Theology connects with the effort religious faith and Churches perform and provides models and ideas to highlight the Christian sense of what is happening, that is, in reference to a saving God. Four keys, rooted in the Christian tradition, are proposed that allow us to understand these difficult times in a meaningful way, that is, as revealing “signs of the times” for believers, assisting them in their struggle to cope with these challenging circumstances.

Reply to Walter Block on Ethical Vegetarianism

The Author: Michael Huemer,
I address Walter Block’s recent criticisms of my book, Dialogues on Ethical Vegetarianism. Methodologically, Block relies too much on appeals to contentious and extreme assumptions. Substantively, most of his objections are irrelevant to the central issue of the book. Those that are relevant turn on false assumptions or lead to absurd consequences. In the end, Block’s claim to oppose suffering cannot be reconciled with his indifference to a practice that probably causes, every few years, more suffering than all the suffering in human history.

A Short History of the Discovery of Black Holes

The Author: Martin Braddock,
The concept of black holes or completely collapsed gravitational objects as they were originally called has fascinated the scientific community and writers of science fiction for centuries. The mathematical proof of the existence of black holes came from the collation of multiple lines of evidence, some of which were highly debated and was derived from both indirect and direct sources. The measurement of gravitational waves and the observation of a black hole represent one of the most astounding achievements in astrophysics which will open up new areas of investigation for the role that black holes play in the formation, maintenance and evolution of galactic structure.

A Word From the Editors: Humanism in the Economy.
Introduction to the Special Issue “Humanistic Economy”

Issue of the journal “Humanistic Economy” is a collection of articles which are a response to the increasingly frequent voices, for contemporary economics to be treated not only as a set of economic notions, but as a science, where human beings and their happiness are the main focus. The authors suggest the use of solutions from the area of psychology, sociology or cultural studies in economics, that allows to consider economics as a humanities science.

Financialization and the Erosion of the Common Good

The phenomenon of financialization is multifaceted and can be considered from different points of view. The main purpose of the article is to show how financialization affects the erosion of the common good. To achieve this, various negative sides of financialization are described, referring to the eight principles of the common good: effective use of limited resources, freedom, prosperity, justice, responsibility, solidarity, primacy of interpersonal relations and institutional principle. Further considerations concern the presentation of possible solutions to the problem of financialization. Two perspectives are selected. First, the answer of Catholic social teaching to the phenomenon of financialization, as presented in the form of the Vatican document Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones from May 2018. Next, one of the main causes of financialization is shown: economic and financial theories, which has become the theoretical foundation for the phenomenon. On this basis, the need for new theoretical solutions based on the institutional approach in the science of economics and finance is discussed. Possible new alternative approaches, including the concept of financial personalism, are also recognized.

Multi-Factor Evaluation of the Financialization Degree of Polish Households in the Background of the Euro Area

The Author: Justyna Chmiel,
Financialization is a term that is becoming increasingly popular in the Polish literature. One of its important aspects, which is multidimensionality, is often emphasized. It is a process whose effects are visible at all levels of the economy. The effects of financialization could be seen both at the national level and in the basic economic unit, which is a household. Firstly, the purpose of this study is to analyze changes, which in literature are considered to be symptoms of financialization in Polish households. The second, no less important goal, is to compare the level of financialization of Polish households with the level characteristic for countries belonging to the euro area.