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Article

Worldviews Complexity in COVID-19 Times: Australian Media Representations of Religion, Spirituality and Non-Religion in 2020

1
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
2
School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7005, Australia
3
Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
4
School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Solange Lefebvre and Roberta Ricucci
Religions 2021, 12(9), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090682
Received: 17 June 2021 / Revised: 13 August 2021 / Accepted: 14 August 2021 / Published: 26 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pandemic, Religion and Non-religion)
In 2020, as infections of COVID-19 began to rise, Australia, alongside many other nations, closed its international borders and implemented lockdown measures across the country. The city of Melbourne was hardest hit during the pandemic and experienced the strictest and longest lockdown worldwide. Religious and spiritual groups were especially affected, given the prohibition of gatherings of people for religious services and yoga classes with a spiritual orientation, for example. Fault lines in socio-economic differences were also pronounced, with low-wage and casual workers often from cultural and religious minorities being particularly vulnerable to the virus in their often precarious workplaces. In addition, some religious and spiritual individuals and groups did not comply and actively resisted restrictions at times. By contrast, the pandemic also resulted in a positive re-engagement with religion and spirituality, as lockdown measures served to accelerate a digital push with activities shifting to online platforms. Religious and spiritual efforts were initiated online and offline to promote wellbeing and to serve those most in need. This article presents an analysis of media representations of religious, spiritual and non-religious responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne, Australia, from January to August 2020, including two periods of lockdown. It applies a mixed-method quantitative and qualitative thematic approach, using targeted keywords identified in previous international and Australian media research. In so doing, it provides insights into Melbourne’s worldview complexity, and also of the changing place of religion, spirituality and non-religion in the Australian public sphere in COVID times. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; worldviews; spirituality; non-religion; secular; media; COVID; pandemic; Melbourne; Australia religion; worldviews; spirituality; non-religion; secular; media; COVID; pandemic; Melbourne; Australia
MDPI and ACS Style

Halafoff, A.; Marriott, E.; Smith, G.; Weng, E.; Bouma, G. Worldviews Complexity in COVID-19 Times: Australian Media Representations of Religion, Spirituality and Non-Religion in 2020. Religions 2021, 12, 682. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090682

AMA Style

Halafoff A, Marriott E, Smith G, Weng E, Bouma G. Worldviews Complexity in COVID-19 Times: Australian Media Representations of Religion, Spirituality and Non-Religion in 2020. Religions. 2021; 12(9):682. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090682

Chicago/Turabian Style

Halafoff, Anna, Emily Marriott, Geraldine Smith, Enqi Weng, and Gary Bouma. 2021. "Worldviews Complexity in COVID-19 Times: Australian Media Representations of Religion, Spirituality and Non-Religion in 2020" Religions 12, no. 9: 682. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090682

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