Religion, COVID-19, and Biocultural Evolution

Introducing a Special Issue focusing on Religion and the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Chris Crews Denison University
  • Bron Taylor University of Florida



COVID-19, religion, nature, culture




Aafaq, Zafar, and Muhammad Raafi. 2021. ‘COVID cases across India being traced to weeks-long Kumbh Mela’, Al Jazeera. 13 May. Online:

Albarracín, Dolores, Julia Albarracín, Man-pui Sally Chan, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson. 2022. Creating Conspiracy Beliefs: How Our Thoughts Are Shaped (Oxford: Cambridge University Press). DOI:

Al-Kinani, Mohammed. 2020. ‘If Saudi Arabia is forced to put the Hajj on hold, it will not be without precedent’, Arab News, 4 April. Online:

Ali, Shirin. 2021. ‘More and more conservative media leaders are dying from COVID-19 after advocating against vaccines’, The Hill, 2 December. Online:

Anderson, Janna, Lee Rainie, and Emily A. Vogels. 2021. ‘Experts say the “new normal” in 2025 will be far more tech-driven, presenting more big challenges’, Pew Research Center, 18 February. Online:

Baker, Joseph, Samuel Perry, and Andrew Whitehead. 2020. ‘Keep America Christian (and White): Christian Nationalism, Fear of Ethnoracial Outsiders, and Intention to Vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election’, Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review 81.3: 272-93. Doi: DOI:

BBC. 2021. ‘Covid: Huge protests across Europe over new restrictions’, BBC News. 21 November. Online:

Belew, Kathleen. 2018. Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press). DOI:

Belícek, Ondrej. 2021. ‘How mysticism and pseudoscience became central to Nazism’, Jacobin, 19 November. Online:

Bennhold, Katrin. 2022. ‘Eco-Leftist and the Far Right: Vaccine Mandate Forges Unlikely Coalition of Protesters in Germany’, New York Times, 24 January. Online:

Bond, Bayleigh Elaine, and Ryan Neville-Shephard. 2021. ‘The Rise of Presidential Eschatology: Conspiracy Theories, Religion, and the January 6th Insurrection’, American Behavioral Scientist, October: 1-16. Doi: DOI:

Butler, Anthea. 2021. White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press). DOI:

Conservative Daily. 2021. ‘Live with Jake Angeli, America’s Shaman: Legal misrepresentation, persecution’, Conservative Daily Podcast, 17 December. Online:

Convery, Stephanie. 2021. ‘Australia covid protests: threats against “traitorous” politicians as thousands rally in capital cities’, The Guardian, 20 November. Online:

CoronAsur. 2021. Religion and Globalisation Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Online:

COVID-19 Dashboard. 2021. Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Online:

Davis, Joshua, and Samuel Perry. 2021. ‘White Christian Nationalism and Relative Political Tolerance for Racists’, Social Problems 68.3: 513-34. Doi: DOI:

de Beaumont Foundation. 2021. ‘Poll: Unvaccinated Americans consider vaccine requirements a greater health threat than COVID-19’, Morning Consult, 8 September. Online:

Dein, Simon. 2020. ‘Covid-19 and the Apocalypse: Religious and Secular Perspectives’, Journal of Religion and Health 60.1: 5-15. Doi: DOI:

Druckman, James N., Katherine Ognyanova, Matthew A. Baum, David Lazer, Roy H. Perlis, John Della Volpe, Mauricio Santillana, Hanyu Chwe, Alexi Quintana, and Matthew Simonson. 2021. ‘The Role of Race, Religion, and Partisanship in

Misperceptions about COVID-19’, Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 24.4:

-57. Doi: DOI:

Du Mez, Kristin Kobes. 2020. Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation (New York: Liveright Publishing).

Egan, Paul, and Tresa Baldas. 2020. ‘“Deeply disturbing”: Feds charge extremist in domestic terror plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, create civil war’, Detroit Free Press, 8 October. Online:

Ellis-Petersen, Hannah, and Aakash Hassan. 2021. ‘Kumbh Mela: how a superspreader festival seeded Covid across India’, The Guardian. 29 May. Online:

Evans, Jules. 2021. ‘Make love, not vaccines: why are New Age hippies so anti-vax?’, Medium, 26 August. Online:

Fertl, Duroyan. 2020. ‘Germany has a Nazi problem’, The Left Berlin, 7 November. Online:

Hafez, Farid. 2018. ‘Street-level and Government-level Islamophobia in the Visegrád Four Countries’, Patterns of Prejudice 52.5: 436-47. Doi: DOI:

Hamel, Liz, Lunna Lopes, Ashley Kirzinger, Grace Sparks, Millisha Stokes and Mollyann Brodie. 2021. ‘KFF COVID-19 vaccine monitor: media and misinformation’, Kaiser Family Foundation. 8 November. Online:

IDEA. 2021. ‘The global state of democracy 2021: building resilience in a pandemic era’, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Online:

Israel, David. 2021. ‘Israel, Poland, condemn hundreds of Polish protesters who shouted “death to the Jews”’, Jewish Press, 14 November. Online:

Jones, Robert P., and Eboo Patel. 2021. ‘Americans support a high bar for religious exemptions to vaccines’, Religion News Service, 20 December. Online:

Juergensmeyer, Mark, Dinah Griego, and John Soboslai. 2015. God in the Tumult of the Global Square (Oakland: University of California Press). DOI:

Kada, Benmaghnia. 2021. ‘The New Coronavirus: The Anomia Phenomenon: An Approach to the Impact of the Pandemic on Social Media Networks’, Contemporary Arab Affairs 14.1: 34-50. Doi: DOI:

Libre, Elle A. 2021. ‘Worldwide freedom rally in Glastonbury UK. Part 1/2 Opening Ceremony’, YouTube, 15 May. Online:

Livingston, Doug. 2021. ‘“There’s just no giving on their position”: COVID killing 2.3 times faster in Trump counties’, Akron Beacon Journal, 14 December. Online:

Lorea, Carola. 2020. ‘CoronAsur: Religion, senses and media at the time of the Corona-demon’, CoronAsur, 18 May. Online:

Lynch, Rebecca, Tristan Sturm, and Joseph Webster. 2021. ‘Apocalyptic Futures: Morality, Health, and Wellbeing at the End of the World’, Anthropology & Medicine 28.1: 1-12. Doi: DOI:

Maarif, Samsul. 2021. ‘Re-establishing Human–Nature Relations: Responses of Indigenous People of Indonesia to Covid-19’, Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society 7: 447-72. DOI:

Mitchell, Amy, Mark Jurkowitz, J. Baxter Oliphant, and Elisha Shearer. 2020. ‘Three months in, many Americans see exaggeration, conspiracy theories and partisanship in COVID-19 news’, Pew Research Center, 29 June. Online:

Nelson, Matthew J. 2021. ‘Pandemic Politics in South Asia: Muslims and Democracy’, The Review of Faith & International Affairs 19.1: 83-94. Doi: DOI:

Nzwili, Fredrick. 2021. ‘African faith leaders combat misleading theologies that promise cures for COVID-19’, Religion News Service, 6 December. Online:

OpIndia. 2020. ‘Corona affects Hindus, Muslims have dua, don’t need vaccine: Kolkata’s Maulana Barkati’, OpIndia, 25 December. Online:

Østebø, Terje, Kjetil Tronvoll, and Marit Tolo Østebø. 2021. ‘Religion and the “Secular Shadow”: Responses to Covid-19 in Ethiopia’, Religion 51.3: 339-58. Doi: DOI:

Park, S. Nathan. 2020. ‘Cults and conservatives spread coronavirus in South Korea’, Foreign Policy, 27 February. Online:

Perry, Samuel, Andrew Whitehead, and Joshua Grubbs. 2020a. ‘Culture Wars and COVID-19 Conduct: Christian Nationalism, Religiosity, and Americans’ Behavior during the Coronavirus Pandemic’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 59.3: 1-12. Doi: DOI:

Perry, Samuel, Andrew Whitehead, and Joshua Grubbs. 2020b. ‘Prejudice and Pandemic in the Promised Land: How White Christian Nationalism Shapes Americans’ Racist and Xenophobic Views of COVID-19’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 44.5: 759-72. Doi: DOI:

Perry, Samuel, Andrew Whitehead, and Joshua Grubbs. 2021. ‘Save the Economy, Liberty, and Yourself: Christian Nationalism and Americans’ Views on Government COVID-19 Restrictions’, Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review 82.4: 426-46. Doi: DOI:

PR Newswire. 2021. ‘Shincheonji church membership increases by 20,000, despite Covid-19 pandemic’, Cision, 22 December. Online: https://www.prnewswire.~com/news-releases/shincheonji-church-membership-increases-by-20-000--


PRRI. 2021. ‘Religious identities and the race against the virus: American attitudes on vaccination mandates and religious exemptions (wave 3)’, Public Religion Research Institute, 9 December. Online:

PRRI-IFYC. 2021. ‘Faith-based approaches can positively impact Covid-19 vaccination efforts: religious identities and the race against the virus: 2021 PRRI-IFYC religious diversity and vaccine survey’, Public Religion Research Institute and Interfaith Youth Core, April. Online:

Ricker, Aaron. 2020. ‘Attraction to COVID-19 conspiracy theories can be traced to the Christian apocalyptic imagination’, Religion Dispatches, 22 September. Online:

Rutjens, Bastiaan T., Nikhil Sengupta, Romy van der Lee, Guido M. van Koningsbruggen, Jason P. Martens, André Rabelo, and Robbie M. Sutton. 2022. ‘Science Skepticism across 24 Countries’, Social Psychological and Personality Science 13.1: 102-17. Doi: DOI:

Sahgal, Neha, and Aidan Connaughton. 2020. ‘More Americans than people in other advanced economies say Covid-19 has strengthened religious faith’, Pew Research Center, 27 January. Online:

Sharon, Jeremy. 2020. ‘Religious leaders: Coronavirus is punishment, sign of the messiah’s coming’, The Jerusalem Post, 17 March. Online:

Soundararajan, T., A. Kumar, P. Nair, and J. Greely. 2020. ‘CORONAJIHAD: An analysis of Islamophobic Covid-19 Hatespeech and Disinformation’, Equality Labs. Online:

Stern, Alexandra Minna. 2019. Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is Warping the American Imagination (Boston: Beacon Press).

Strange, Stephen. 2020. ‘The spiritual reality of COVID-19’, Charisma. Online:

Sturm, Tristan, and Tom Albrecht. 2021. ‘Constituent Covid-19 Apocalypse: Contagious Conspiracism, 5G, and Viral Vaccinations’, Anthropology and Medicine 28.1: 122-39. Doi: DOI:

Subramaniam, Banu. 2020. ‘Viral Fundamentals: Riding the Corona Waves in India’, Religion Compass 15.2: 1-9. Online: DOI:

Taylor, Bron. 1997. ‘Earthen Spirituality or Cultural Genocide? Radical Environmentalism’s Appropriation of Native American Spirituality’, Religion 27: 183-215. DOI:

Taylor, Bron, Gretel Van Wieren, and Bernard Daley Zaleha. 2016. ‘The Greening of Religion Hypothesis (Part Two): Assessing the Data from Lynn White, Jr., to Pope Francis’, JSRNC 10.3: 306-78. Doi: DOI:

Thapar, Karan. 2021. ‘Kumbh Mela Shahi Snans biggest super-spreaders in pandemic’s history: Dr Ashish Jha’, The Wire, 5 July. Online:

The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. 2021. ‘AHA!’, Peace Makers Network. Online:

Upenieks, Laura, Joanne Ford-Robertson, and James E. Robertson. 2021. ‘Trust in God and/or Science? Sociodemographic Differences in the Effects of Beliefs in an Engaged God and Mistrust of the Covid-19 Vaccine’, Journal of Religion and Health 60: 1-30. Doi: DOI:

USC. 2020. ‘Religion and COVID-19: How are we keeping the faith?’, USC Press Room, 10 April. Online:

Vijgen, Richard, and Bregtje van der Haak. 2015. ‘Pentecostalism: Massive global growth under the radar’, Pulitzer Center, 9 March. Online:

Viswanath, Sunita. 2021. ‘Modi’s Religious Nationalism Hurts India’s Hindus, Too’, Foreign Policy, 26 May. Online:

Walt, Vivienne. 2019. ‘How nationalists are joining together to tear Europe apart’, Time Magazine, 11 April. Online:




How to Cite

Crews, C., & Taylor, B. (2022). Religion, COVID-19, and Biocultural Evolution: Introducing a Special Issue focusing on Religion and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 16(1), 5–22.

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