Original Research

The rich man and Lazarus: COVID-19, class and identity in Nigeria

Benson O. Igboin
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 46, No 1 | a134 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v46i1.134 | © 2022 Benson O. Igboin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 August 2021 | Published: 17 January 2022

About the author(s)

Benson O. Igboin, Department of Religion and African Culture, Faculty of Arts, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Nigeria; Research Institute of Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19–31) has attracted many interpretations from different cultural and theological contexts. But one thread that holds most of the works together is structural disparity in human society and the reality of judgement in the afterlife. This article re-reads the parable within the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This method of re-reading the parable in this particular context (of COVID-19) is to serve two major purposes within the Nigerian and global sphere. First, it demonstrates how humans in their (dis)ingenuity try to outwit the moral and theological, and even the eschatological, import it is meant to serve. Second, it elucidates that despite human efforts to manoeuvre theological truth, the faithful should be encouraged to abide in the truth.


Keywords

parable; COVID-19; rich man; Lazarus; class

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