human development, social justice and sustainable social systems
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COVID-19 shows us more than ever its value and importance

A rather typical Monday morning, somewhere in April. It’s around 9am. I’m making myself comfortable in the place in our house that we use as an office, while I hear the noise of our playing children in the background. Since the lockdown, it has become a habit: I work before noon, my husband in the afternoon, and in the evening we see what still requires our professional attention. In this way, we manage to combine work and ‘home schooling’ while also entertaining the kids. Surprisingly enough, we actually found a rhythm after a few weeks. We miss our friends, formal meetings and informal meetings among colleagues, the contact with our students… At the same time, however, we realize how privileged we are to be able to continue our lives in this way, including understanding for one another, peace and serenity instead of panic or violence, but with care and concern for each family member, space in our garden if the house feels too crowded and a fridge which is never empty. With a physical and mental space in order to continue our work which is not only an obligation or a must, but something we love to do because we consider it meaningful. At least we have a house which we can call a home, and a job where we can go to, now and also after this crisis is over.

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About the author
Ellen Van Stichel is assistant professor of Christian Social and Political Ethics at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at KU Leuven. She is a member of the Research Unit Theological and Comparative Ethics and of the Centre of Catholic Social Thought.

The Focus of her research is how theology can contribute to social issues. Her current research aims to focus on political emotions. Key concepts are: relationality, vulnerability, solidarity, justice, common good, Catholic social thought.

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Ellen Van Stichel

Assistant professor of Christian Social and Political Ethics
KU Leuven

faith and action