A student asked, “What is pastoral care amid the COVID-19 pandemic?” The student and the professor embarked on a conversational journey to explore the layers of suffering during the pandemic that prompted the question and to interpret the neoliberal characteristics of the relational pains in the experience. Through the participatory case study of this conversation, this article puts the pandemic experience of the student in dialogue with the Matthean passage on the vineyard workers to expose the limits of the neoliberal rationality that feeds into the suffering during the pandemic. The ensuing theological reflection culminates in a conversation about the understanding of the Matthean evil eye, Emmanuel Levinas’s understanding of the face, and Bruce Roger-Vaughn’s concept of third-order suffering. The reflection concludes with an answer to the question about pastoral care during COVID-19.
- Evil eye
- Third-order suffering