Download A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and by Paul Waldau PDF

By Paul Waldau

A Communion of Subjects is the 1st comparative and interdisciplinary examine of the conceptualization of animals in global religions. students from a variety of disciplines, together with Thomas Berry (cultural history), Wendy Doniger (study of myth), Elizabeth Lawrence (veterinary medication, ritual studies), Marc Bekoff (cognitive ethology), Marc Hauser (behavioral science), Steven clever (animals and law), Peter Singer (animals and ethics), and Jane Goodall (primatology) contemplate how significant spiritual traditions have included animals into their trust platforms, myths, rituals, and artwork. Their findings supply profound insights into humans' relationships with animals and a deeper knowing of the social and ecological internet during which all of us live.

Contributors research Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Daoism, Confucianism, African religions, traditions from old Egypt and early China, and local American, indigenous Tibetan, and Australian Aboriginal traditions, between others. They discover matters reminiscent of animal awareness, soreness, sacrifice, and stewardship in cutting edge methodological methods. additionally they handle modern demanding situations with regards to legislations, biotechnology, social justice, and the surroundings. through grappling with the character and ideological good points of varied non secular perspectives, the individuals solid non secular teachings and practices in a brand new mild. They demonstrate how we both deliberately or inadvertently marginalize "others," whether or not they are human or another way, reflecting at the ways that we assign worth to residing beings.

Though it's an old drawback, the subject of "Religion and Animals" has but to be systematically studied by means of sleek students. This groundbreaking assortment takes the 1st steps towards a significant analysis.

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Additional info for A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics

Sample text

Thomas Berry is a cultural historian, or, as he is sometimes called, a ‘‘geologian’’—a theologian of the earth. In our ‘‘Enlightenmentvectored’’ Western intellectual world, as Huston Smith has called it, the religious dimensions of any question are often treated at best as a colorful sidebar, and at worst as features that are distorted, oppressive, polemical, romantic, or anti-rational, whose effect is to undermine the progressive evaluation of the fruits of scientific and sociological research. Rather than seeing religion as a problematic addendum to public thought about the status of animals, however, this volume uniquely takes the study of ‘‘Religion and Animals’’ as its principal focus.

Even beyond all these they provide an emotional intimacy so unique that it can come to us from no other source. The animals can do for us, in both the physical and the spiritual orders, what we cannot do for ourselves or for each other. These more precious gifts they provide through their presence and their responsiveness to our inner needs. The difficulty in our relation with the animals comes from the sense of use as our primary relationship with the world about us. Hardly any other attitude so betrays ourselves and the entire universe in which we live.

Other religious traditions have had a pronounced human-centered bias because they assert that only humans truly matter. ’’ Although in many circles there is a tendency to equate religious views with factual propositions about the world, most religious traditions include the insight that actions speak louder about what one really believes than do spoken or written words. Accordingly, what religious traditions truly ‘‘think’’ about other animals is, at least in part, represented by believers’ treatment ‘‘on the ground,’’ as it were, of other living beings.

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