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If 2020 is defined by one thing, it’s the ushering in of mass uncertainty. Uncertainty about how to behave in the face of a capricious virus, about the future, about whom to trust in the face of conflicting directives. What happens when a society that thought it was successful is shocked into realizing that it can no longer assume an infinitely upward path of progress? What happens to human character when we lose confidence in the same? This fall issue of Comment is an attempt to explore these questions with both honesty and tenderness. We are seeking wisdom from untapped sources—children, jazz, mathematics, cultures adept at thinking in the present tense, refugees, the materially poor. What can we learn from these ignored sages, and from the biblical narrative of exile itself?
An introduction to Public Theology for the Common Good