Animals as Religious Subjects Transdisciplinary Perspectives

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-08-15
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark

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This book examines one of the most pressing cultural concerns that surfaced in the last decade - the question of the place and significance of the animal. This collection of essays represents the outcome of various conversations regarding the animal studies and shows multidisciplinarity at its very best, namely, a rigorous approach within one discipline in conversation with others around a common theme. The contributors discuss the most relevant disciplines regarding this conversation, namely: philosophy, anthropology, religious studies, theology, history of religions, archaeology and cultural studies. The first section, Thinking about Animals, explores philosophical, anthropological and religious perspectives, raising general questions about the human perception of animals and its crucial cultural significance. The second section explores the intriguing topic of the way animals have been used historically as religious symbols and in religious rituals. The third section re-examines some Christian theological and biblical approaches to animals in the light of current concerns. The final section extends the implications of traditional views about other animals to more specific ethical theories and practices.

Author Biography

Professor Celia Deane-Drummond is Director of the Centre for Religion and the Biosciences at the University of Chester, UK.Dr. David Clough is Professor of Theology in the University of Chester. His recent publications include Ethics in Crisis: Interpreting Barth's Ethics (2005) and Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War (2006).BeckyArtinian Kaiser is a doctoral student at the University of Chester and iscurrently a visiting scholar at the University of Notre Dame.

Table of Contents

Introduction \ Section I: Thinking about Animals \ 1. Ask Now the Beasts and They Shall Teach Thee: Animals as Religious Subjects, Stephen R. Clark \ 2. Walking with Dragons: An Anthropological Excursion on the Wild Side, Tim Ingold \ 3. The Study of Religion after Animal, Aaron Gross \ Section II: Animals as Religious Symbols \ 4. The Long, Dark Shadow of the Horse Cemetery: Sanctifying Animals in Northern Europe on Either Side of the Conversion to Christianity, Aleks Pluskowski \ 5. Hedgehog skin and Golden Calf. Animals as Symbols for Paganism in Medieval German Literature, Sabine Obermaier \ 6. The Entheogenic Insect: Mantis Religiosa, Adam Dodd \ 7. Benevolent Bulls, Loyal Lions, and Cunning Crows: Animals as Companions of the Gods in Hinduism, Xenia Zeiler \ 8. From Sacrifices to Symbols: Animals in Late Antiquity and Early Christianity, Ingvild Sælid Gilhus \ Section III: Rethinking Animal Theology \ 9. Butterflies Dwell Betwixt and Between: Finding Theological Links Concerning Humans, Animals and Redemption, Forrest Clingerman \ 10. ‘Marvel at the Intelligence of Unthinking Creatures': Contemplative Animals in Gregory of Nazianzus and Evagrius of Pontus, Daryl Meier \ 11. ‘Your Wives, Your Children, and Your Livestock': Domesticated Beings as Religious Objects in the Book of Deuteronomy, Raymond F. Person \ 12. Putting Animals in their Place: On the Theological Classification of Creatures, David Clough \ Section III: Ethical Quandaries \ 13. Transgenic Animals and Human Dignity: Some Ethical Considerations, Robert Song \ 14. Other Animals as Persons? - A Roman Catholic Inquiry, Charles Camosy \ Bibliography \ Index

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