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Ines Murzaku

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The Institute for Communication and Religion focuses on exploring how communication and religion are integrally connected, seeking to ensure the University's students and broader community are informed and equipped to communicate about religious topics with responsibility, passion, and excellence.

Based on recent events involving COVID-19, the Institute for Communication and Religion seeks to share...

Work that demonstrates how faith communities engage with public health challenges. Ines Murzaku, Ph.D., Professor of Religion and Director of Catholic Studies Program, recently wrote two essays which share important historical and theological perspective on how the Church has engaged past public health challenges:

These essays appeared in Catholic World Report, a leading online magazine providing full coverage of the news and events affecting the Church around the world, offering in-depth analysis published by Ignatius Press. Both essays were also translated into Italian.

Dr. Muzaku's post on the theology of a smile during COVID-19, The Masked But Unconquered Smile, also appeared in Catholic World Report. 

In addition, Murzaku authored the blog post Coronavirus: How Lenten Kenosis Prepares Us for Easter for the National Catholic Register, in which she wrote:

The all-surrounding Lenten emptiness and nakedness, busy cities reduced to ghost cities, are acts of kenosis. It is through emptiness that humankind comes to know God and the existence of God. Ascetical theology, which focuses on how one comes to know God, might be helpful as we seek to unpack the emptiness related to COVID-19.

Spiritual support from all religious and spiritual traditions. We begin by offering these websites to our community:

  • Religious Guidance for Daily Life during the Coronavirus Pandemic: This website facilitates comparative study of religious responses to the pandemic that draw on traditional texts or values to offer practical guidance for daily life. The site, still in beta form, currently focuses primarily on Islamic and Jewish sources but will ultimately include more material from other traditions.
  • Spiritual Practices: This webpage covers a variety of practices, from online courses, poetry, and prayer to watching inspiring films. The website has a universal approach towards spirituality.

To share further resources that we can promote and share back to our community, send appropriate sources to Assistant Professor Ruth Tsuria, Ph.D.

ICR collaborator Dr. Heidi Campbell is also doing important research on how faith communities use communication technologies to respond to COVID-19. She hosted a free webinar called “Doing Religion Online in a time of Pandemic” for the Christianity & Communication Studies Network, a free, interactive community of scholars, teachers and others interested in exploring questions at the intersection between Christianity and communication. The recording is available here.


Five Tips for Finding God Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis

Student journalist Evando Thompson interviewed Patrick R Manning, Ph.D., assistant professor of pastoral theology, about his article "Five Tips for Finding God Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis." View the transcript.