• Alexander Deeg
  • Marlene Ringgaard Lorensen
  • Theo Pleizier


COVID-19-pandemic, media, preaching, Online Conference 2020, Societas Homiletica


COVID-19-pandemic: the crisis was not only a challenge for the forms of preaching but also its content. What could and should be said? How can people be comforted and strengthened without preaching weak and banal ‘good news’? And again and again the question: How can we speak of God amid a worldwide crisis? For Societas Homiletica it became clear quite soon that the Budapest Conference would have to be postponed (and – God willing – we will meet in Budapest from August 12 to 17, 2022!). But our International Secretary, Prof. Dr. Theo Pleizier, came up with the idea of organizing an Online Conference on “Preaching in Time of Crisis.” The International Board of Societas Homiletica supported this idea, and on August 10–12, 2020, the first Online Conference in the history of Societas Homiletica ‘took place.’ We are glad and honored to present five outstanding papers delivered at the Online Conference in this Special Volume of our International Journal of Homiletics, two from Europe and three from North America (Canada and the USA). Clara Nystrand from Lund (Sweden) compares sermons delivered in Sweden in the time of the Spanish flu 1918 with sermons delivered in the first phase of the Corona pandemic. André Verweij, pastor and researcher in the Netherlands, analyzes five Easter sermons delivered in the Netherlands during the first wave of the Covid-19-pandemic and discovers a lamenting mode in preaching, which steers away from interpreting the pandemic’s possible ‘meaning’ or ‘message.’ Joseph H. Clarke and David Csinos from the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Canada, show how fruitful dialogue between psychotherapy and homiletics can be. David M. Stark, teaching and doing homiletical research at the University of the South in Sewanee (USA), speaks about a dual pandemic of COVID-19 and systemic racism. In the final article, Edgar “Trey” Clark III from Fuller Theology Seminary in Pasadena (USA), examines protests in support of “Black Lives Matter” and sees these protests as a form of Spirit-inspired proclamation – connecting lament and celebration, particularity and universality, word and deed. Obviously, the COVID-19-pandemic changed not only the forms and media of preaching, but also its contents – and will have an impact also in the time ‘after’ the pandemic.

Author Biographies

Alexander Deeg

University of Leipzig, Germany.

Marlene Ringgaard Lorensen

Copenhagen, Denmark.

Theo Pleizier

Groningen, The Netherlands.