This edition of the International Journal of Public Theology wrestles with the vocation of the discipline in demanding times. The past couple of years have been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the premature talk, perhaps, of a ‘new normal’. The pandemic cannot hide other pressing matters forever, though. The spectre of cataclysmic climate change looms ever larger – a significant reality for some folk already as the book review dedicated to the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere indicates. How the Christian faith and Islam relate to one another is likewise a critical concern, given the proportion of the world’s population that adhere to these two traditions. Nor can a pandemic mask the problems that arise out of the forces that lead to a post-truth mentality and politics – not to mention the power of multinational corporations over the lives of individuals. In the midst of so much upheaval western churches are often needing to come to terms with their decline in societies in which they were once a formative public presence while the need for a theoretical basis of a public theology is always ever-present. Beyond COVID there is a miscellany of issues facing a public theology for a time like this.