SCOTT HULER: As Duke students studied 'End of the World,' COVID-19 hit!
Saturday, May 9, 2020 -- Everything is so hard, so terrifying.These days can feel like the end of the world. How do we carry on? I went to people studying the end of the world to find out. Yes, people really study this. I saw a poster about a Duke U. spring semester class. "Religious Studies 361: The End of the World." I was hooked.Posted — Updated
Where do we go for hope when it feels like the world is ending?
Everything is so hard; everything is so terrifying. For not a few of us these days can feel like the end of the world. Under those circumstances, how do we carry on? I went to people studying the end of the world to find out. Yes, people really do study this.
Then came COVID-19. It became harder not to feel a bit chilled by the class’s topic. Soon they were meeting online, but their connection remained. And once again, Knust felt action was required. She awoke at 4 one morning: “We have to say something,” she thought. “Because we’re living through this now.”
She suggested the students work with her to write a manifesto about the end of the world. About how they’ve spent a term up to their armpits in study of the end of the world. And how this is not that.
Meanwhile, I’m working from home, watching the world around me crumble, and trying hard, every day, to find something more demonstrative than, say, baking to model for my own children that, yes, things are scary, but there’s a way forward.
Then I hear from professor Knust about this manifesto. Her class stands tough. They declare: “Confronting an end-in-process with courage and hope rather than mere acceptance is part of our shared work.” Courage. Hope. It took my breath away. I was inspired. I cried.
And I asked them to read it aloud.
These are terrifying days. When in such days a group of people demonstrates courage and hope and is willing to share that in their own voices, you want people to hear it.