Animal theology is not a new discipline.
Countless civilisations, ancient and new, have reflected on the millions of species which also inhabit our planet. Indeed concern for animals has always been present within both scripture and Christian tradition.
Christian thought today has become ever more interested in animals and their role within the Christian life. Thanks to the work of pioneering theologians, Christianity is increasingly turning its attention to the theological significance of non-humans.
What is Animal Theology?
Animal theology is concerned with understanding animals from a theological point of view.
It looks to explore key questions such:
- What exactly is an animal theologically speaking?
- What separates humanity from the rest of the animals?
- What duties do humans have in relating to them?
Why is Christianity Important to Understanding Animals?
Christian theology provides the key categories needed for understanding the ethical place of non-human life on earth.
Whilst much of traditional thought has historically only rarely considered how the work of Christ impacts the billions of non-human animals, positive theological consideration about the role of animals can have a significant impact on the way we choose to live our lives.
- Charles C. Camosy. For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action. Anthony Messenger Press. 2013
- David Clough. On Animals: Vol 1. London: T&T Clark/Continuum. 2012
- Andrew Linzey. Animal Theology. University of Illinois Press. 1995
- Andrew Linzey. Can Christianity Become Good News for Animals? Lecture at SOAS, University of London. March 2012.