본문 바로가기
  • Home

Theology and Church in the Post-Corona Era: Focusing on Laws on Ritual Purity (Leviticus 11-15)

Kim, Sun-Jong 1

1호남신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Since the WHO declared Pandemic on March 12, 2020, the hardships humanity experiences in the past three years are another example of a recurring epidemic in human history. Diagnosing the challenging reality of dealing with the pandemic in the post-corona era and trying to heal trauma in the process, this paper discusses what theology and the church should practice and proclaim in the light of the regulations of skin disease in Leviticus 13-14. First of all, this article reflects the priestly theology maintaining a creative order, and predicts that laws on ritual purity having relations with the current Pandemic functions to embody creative principles in history. In addition to the pain caused by the disease in the early stages of the COVID-19, this paper points out the cause of increasing pain through human negative cognitive bias and diagnoses that the additional pain occurred from the ignorance of the double dimension of ritual and moral impurity. Purity and impurity in Leviticus 11-15 is irrelevant to the problem of ethical and moral sin. In other words, there is no confession of sin in Leviticus 13-14 that deals with skin diseases belonging to ritual denial. Next, this article reveals the interests of the laws on ritual purity by analyzing the text of Leviticus 13-14. This laws focus not on scientific tracking of the cause of skin diseases, but on coping with their consequences and reality that these diseases have brought. In particular, the cause of skin disease is not specified as sin, and attention is focused not only on isolation but on the return of the recovered person to his or her original place of life. The goal of enacting the laws on purity is to recover from impurity to purity, and from disorder to order. In addition, this article points out the limitations of purity laws and presents a solution to overcome them based on Job’s case. Although the ultimate goal of the purity laws is to recover patients, in reality, they had no choice but to wait until the priest declares their purification. In other words, it is necessary to recognize and understand that there is a gap between the ideals (theological concept of impurity) presented in the Bible and the reality of the reader. Church and theology should overcome the boundaries of death and discrimination in society in relation to ritual impurity, recognize the gap between themselves and the created world in relation to ethical impurity, and fill it with the reality of God’s new creation. The laws on ritual purity convey the hope of God's healing under God’s creative order to those who are isolated from the camp and are in loneliness and despair, and present the church's mission to restore the health of human body and mind.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.