CALL FOR PAPERS: The Dec 2021 Issue of in God’s image
“in God’s image” December 2021 Issue will be focused on “Post Covid-19 World,” that is, we are initiating of an Issue that will come out in a “post-covid” world, hopefully. Covid-19 has brought many new issues and challenges like health as a justice issue, humanitarian crisis to the marginalised communities, food crisis, climate justice, intensification of racial discrimination, digital divide, economic crisis, migrations, traffickings, etc.
It is initiated with the hope that we have taken the “lock-down” in most parts of the world (that happened due to the virus), as a moment to pause and consider what we have done to our societies and to the earth itself. Additionally, it comes with a hope that this forced lock down has given us the wisdom to begin designing a more just, healthy and caring future for all – not just for human life but for the earth itself.
But we are aware that there is still a continuing threat, it is a virus that defies known cures and so as we look ahead, we do it with a deep faith that this destructive virus will be brought under control, next year earlier rather than later. So, we bring out this issue of iGi with faith and hope!
Reflecting back on the impact the virus has had on our lives will require us to acknowledge and confess that the virus and lockdowns did unearth the deep rifts in our societies. The articles in this issue of iGi will speak of some of these issues while indicating a positive response as to where we would like our world to move.
Some of the issues that we invite articles on:
- The economic crisis in the world with a focus on the most vulnerable communities like indigenous people, Dalits, women, migrant workers, poor particularly in Asia and Africa. Loss of jobs, reductions in incomes, loss of homes (which are being repossessed as people default on repayment of loans). The unequal access to drugs, treatment, even the vaccine to stop the spread of the virus. India is a classic example – with the second largest numbers of infected people in the world (at the time of writing this call for papers). We could blame the overcrowded cities; the lack of possibilities to follow physical distancing rules or the fact that millions live in poverty. The fact remains that the government of India did not handle its response well – especially by announcing a decent stimulus package to sustain life. While I used India as my example, all over Asia and the world we have seen the economic crisis in our world. How does novel Coronavirus affect vulnerable communities? Indigenous people, Dalits, women, migrant workers? How/or in what way the churches are responding to the needs of vulnerable communities?
- Covid-19 and racial discrimination issue: Covid-19 pandemic is exposing and exacerbating deep divisions, injustices, and inequities in our society on the basis of race. Many Asian have been abused, attacked and many continue to live in fear of being attacked due to surge of racism against Asians and Africans. Covid-19 has exposed how racism is deeply rooted and has potential to create violence and divide the people on the basis of race and color. What should be our response?
- Children’s rights issue, online education and the poor: There is a serious digital divide between the urban-rural and rich-poor. Many rich and urban dwellers have welcome online education as a blessing, but create a serious crisis among the rural poor.
- Health as a justice issue: Covid-19 is a wake up call to healthcare systems all over the world that no country was medically equipped to face this pandemic. Nations spend more money on defence but far too less on healthcare. It’s a serious matter we need to look at.
- The impact on women: The women constitute 80% of the domestic work. This is one of the unorganized sectors where many women work day and night. While some domestic workers have increased their workload, many have lost jobs due to loss of jobs of middle income employees and lockdown. There is also increase of girl child trafficking or forced marriage due to poverty.
- The impact on environment: Environmental degradation and Covid-19 are interconnected. The continuing violence against nature has to stop. Many eco-feminists have addressed on eco-justice in the past. Covid-19 challenges us to re-look feminist perspective on climate justice.
- The impact on the LGBTQIA+ community: This community faces its own challenges and these were aggravated in the context of the virus. Many of our brothers and sisters of other sexualities and genders have lost access to their own communities which offer them a support structure. Lock downs and restrictions on movement and gatherings have left many of them isolated and helpless. Medical emergencies they faced are specific to their bodies and they find little help in hospitals and with care givers and even front line workers.
- Challenges to the Christian community: on their ecumenical engagement but more importantly on their theological understanding of the significance of the “plague-like virus” and its impact on our lives. What should be the new normal for us as Christians? What word of hope do we as women have to share in this troubled world?
- God amidst suffering: How do we discern loving and caring God amidst suffering? Influenced by prosperity theology, we have heard wrath of God theology and prophesying the end of the world. Instead of suffering denying theology, we need to nurture our congregation to face the challenges of oppressive systems that deny fullness of life.
There may be many other concerns that can be identified and you are welcome to do so, from any perspective on Covid pandemic. Asian women have always used poetry, art, music to express their deepest concerns, as well as their hopes. This is such a moment so please do send from your context new pieces of poetry, art or words of songs that have been generated recently for publication in this issue of iGi.
Attached is a flier outlining “Guidelines for Writers of iGi.” Please send your contributions and 1-3 appropriate graphics to complement the article at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by 28 February 2021.
Recommended word limit for each article: 1000 to 4000 words
Please be noted articles that are published elsewhere will not be accepted.
As a gesture of appreciation and thanks AWRC will send you two copies of iGi whenever your paper or art piece is published.
We look forward to your articles and other creative contributions.
Guest Editor, India