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“Conspirituality” Reveals Role of Religion in Vaccine Hesitancy

“Conspirituality” Reveals Role of Religion in Vaccine Hesitancy

Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2021
St. Jerome’s University’s Lectures in Catholic Experience 2021-2022 “Fog and Light” series continues online on Friday, October 22nd, with a closer look at how the study of religion can contribute to our understanding of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Paul Bramadat, a Professor in the Religion, Culture, and Society Program, and Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, will speak on “Religion and Vaccine Hesitancy in the Age of Anxiety”.
 
“Normally, we distinguish between cultural and religious forms of vaccine hesitancy, but both are rooted in deeper concerns that people have about personal autonomy,” noted Bramadat, “as well as what we might call the ’ambient toxicity’ of the world.” 
 
Bramadat has an international reputation for his work on the relationship of religion and spirituality to diversity, health, security, and civil society. He is co-editor of Public Health in the Age of Anxiety: Religious and Cultural Roots of Vaccine Hesitancy in Canada; Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond; and Spirituality in Hospice Palliative Care. He is interested in what the study of religion can contribute to our understanding of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, or, conversely, what we learn about religion/spirituality by thinking about `conspirituality’.
 
During his online lecture Bramadat will reflect on the religious roots of vaccine hesitancy, an element often ignored in analyses of opposition to vaccination. He examines the vantage point of a hesitant individual and community to discuss what sort of world is being imagined as the problem–and the solution.
 
“Our success in battling the COVID-19 pandemic and getting back to `normal’ lies in vaccine uptake,” said LCE Coordinator, David Seljak. “Given how much vaccine hesitancy is rooted in religion, Professor Bramadat’s talk on conspiracy-theory-spirituality or `conspirituality’ could not be more timely or important.”
 
To attend the online “Religion and Vaccine Hesitancy in the Age of Anxiety” lecture, taking place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 22, 2021, please join us by using this link.
 
The Lectures in Catholic Experience (LCE) series has been held at St. Jerome’s University, since 1982, engaging in critical issues of the time. Recordings of previous lectures are available in the LCE “PAST LECTURE” archives on the university’s website at www.sju.ca.