Self-Sacrifice Vs. Self-Interest: Christian Responses to Pandemics Then and Now

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"As Christianity evolved in concert with Western culture, its ethics became ever more individualistic. The Protestant Reformation provided the doctrinal basis for focus on the self, the Enlightenment provided the cultural basis for focus on the self, and modern Christianity embraced and celebrated the self. This modern social construction of the liberal, autonomous individual casts the self as the primary reality, having priority over the community. As such, community becomes merely the contractual relationships that individuals enter to advance their various self-interests.

Today, we even have a minority of Christians denying any social responsibilities amid a pandemic far less lethal than those faced by early Christians. Defiantly they declare it their individual personal right and collective public duty to gather for worship, no matter that it irrefutably endangers others."

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