Professor John Berkman argues that the language of ‘environment’ is problematic in that it presupposes that humanity being at the centre with everything else as a backdrop. He also warns against the evils of factory farming and reveals how Pope Francis’s Laudato Si has encouraged new, positive thinking in regards to environmental and animal issues.
The Rt Revd John Arnold, Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford, speaks on contemporary animal issues and explains how Pope Francis’s encyclical letter Laudato Si has triggered new, pioneering thinking in regards to animals.
Dr Philip J. Sampson FOCAE, writer and lecturer on animals and animal ethics, explores the rich history of Christian concern for animals. He also uncovers many remarkable, pro-animal biblical insights including how Jesus demonstrated love and compassion for all creatures.
One of the highlights of the Creature Conference was the interactive panel discussion featuring all the speakers.
This discussion, chaired by Sarx Patron, The Revd Steve Chalke MBE, drew together the key themes addressed throughout the day and provided the opportunity for attendees to ask questions from the floor.
Press play on the toolbar below to listen to the full length debate and hear the speakers challenged on pressing, important topics including the life of Christ, animal suffering, veganism and the work of our Christian forebears in bringing about positive changes for animals.
Press play on the toolbar to listen to the full discussion:
This dynamic conversation demonstrated Christian unity in treating animal concerns as prime faith concerns and gave great promise for the future of Christian engagement with animal issues. Delegates commented:
Steve Chalke’s chairing was excellent. Pertinent questions were asked and a lot of ground covered, including some fresh material, in a relatively short period of time.”
“It was good to hear the agreement and discussions of those Christians from different traditions and approaches coming together and gave great hope for the future.”
“It was the best panel discussion I have ever witnessed in a Christian setting. Not only were the panel members informed, but panelists and audience members alike benefitted from having a skilled moderator overseeing the event.”
Proverbs 12:10 is sometimes, rather blandly, translated ‘The righteous person cares for their animals’. But the literal translation is “The righteous person knows the soul of their animals’!
Dr Ruth Valerio outlines a Biblical understanding of animals and how to take practical steps in support of God’s creatures.
The Revd Steve Chalke MBE, Founder and Leader of Oasis Global and Patron of Sarx discusses why he believes animal concerns, far from being a marginal issue, are integral to Christian discipleship and living a life of justice and compassion.
Dr Tony Campolo speaks on the spiritual connectedness which can develop between humans and animals and how Christians can find their voices in support of all God’s creatures.
Environmentalist, theologian, social activist and author, Dr Ruth Valerio, reflects upon her journey of faith and practically explores how Christians can promote the flourishing of animals.
The Rt Revd Dominic Walker, former bishop of Monmouth and President of ASWA, explains why including animals in the life of the church is an important aspect to Christian mission.
In his keynote address at the Creature Conference John Berkman, Professor of Moral Theology at Regis College, University of Toronto, brings together ethology and theology in considering what is means for animals flourish and why this matters to God.