HIST30060 Practicing religion during lockdown

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HIST30060 Practicing religion during lockdown

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Through discussions with my grandmother, I reflected on an interesting intersection between the impact of the lockdown on both older Melburnians and faith communities. My grandmother is a practising Buddhist; a key annual ritual that was unable to be undertaken in 2021 was the commemoration of my grandfather’s death anniversary, typically observed by preparing food and inviting friends and relatives to our home for a ceremony (known in Buddhist ethics as sharing ‘merits’ with the deceased to send them good fortune). As this gathering was not permitted, my grandmother shared ‘merits’ with my grandfather by instead donating to a charity; I think that such as example highlights the mediation between religious practices and natural sciences, in the context of this health crisis. Pictured is the receipt from my grandmother’s donation; sharing her wealth by committing this good deed was important to her during this time.

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This item was submitted on November 3, 2021 by Olivia Tregambe using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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