In this transcript from the 2017 Creature Conference, Dr Margaret Adam, theologian, ethicist and visiting tutor at St Stephen’s House, Oxford argues that Christians should care about animals because of who and how they are called to be.
Christianity and Animals
Dr Alma Massaro author, lecturer on animal ethics and member of the Italian Study Center for Christian Vegetarians (CSCV) speaks on whether animals have souls, challenging barriers to peaceable human-animal relationships and how to view animals through innocent eyes.
Revd Dr Trystan Owain Hughes explores the interrelatedness of all living beings and demonstrates how the common origin and essential unity of creation necessitates that every animal is treated with respect, compassion and love.
Professor Ryan McLaughlin, lecturer of theology at Siena College, New York, discusses the theological status of animals, the work of Christ and the practical implications of animal theological concern within the Christian life.
Mary Colwell, public speaker, producer and writer specialising in nature and the environment, reflects upon Thomas Merton, God’s presence within creation and humanity’s connection with the natural world.
Dr. Richard D, Ryder, Cambridge educated psychologist, philosopher and Scientific Adviser to Catholic Concern for Animals argues humanity suffers from an addiction to animal cruelty. Nonetheless, religious leaders are leading the way in bringing about lasting change.
Professor Karen Swallow Prior, lecturer in English at Liberty University and Research Fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, argues compassionate care of animals is a scriptural mandate and that humanity needs to reclaim its Biblical responsibility to care for all God’s creatures.
Evangelical Christianity and animal advocacy are often perceived as irreconcilably at odds with each other. Therefore it will come as a surprise to many that the pioneers of animal welfare reform before the twentieth century were Christians who showed a passionate kindness towards ‘God’s beasts’. Dr Philip J. Sampson, Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, discusses the distinctively Evangelical spirituality which inspired them.
Ex-Franciscan friar, Dr Alan McManus, reflects upon the extraordinary life of St. Francis of Assisi and reveals, not only a man with a remarkable heart for animals, but also a revolutionary figure against cruelty and injustice.