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Palgrave Macmillan

Christian Theology and the Status of Animals

The Dominant Tradition and Its Alternatives

ISBN 9781137344571
Publication Date February 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series

What is the moral standing of animals according to Christian theology? In this book, Ryan Patrick McLaughlin argues that there are conflicting traditions with regard to this question. The dominant tradition maintains that animals are primarily resources that ought to be equitably distributed to the entire human community, both present and future. However, there are alternative strands of Christian thought that challenge this view. McLaughlin delineates these strands in juxtaposition to the dominant tradition in an effort to highlight its alternatives, which include the re-envisioning of the moral significance of differentiation, the image of both protological and eschatological peace between humans and animals in both ancient and modern writers, biblical passages that challenge anthropocentrism and conservationism, and the notion that the cosmos is the primordial sacrament. Collectively, these alternatives to the dominant tradition suggest that there are open spaces within which to offer direct moral concern for animals.

Ryan Patrick McLaughlin teaches at Duquesne University, USA. He has authored articles on animal theology, comparative religious ethics, and biblical foundations for religious inclusivism. He was awarded the McAnulty Dissertation Fellowship Award (2012-13).

List of Tables and Diagrams
1. Thomas Aquinas and the Dominant Tradition
2. The Dominant Tradition and the Magisterium
3. Theology and the Reconfiguration of Difference
4. In Via Toward an Animal-Inclusive Eschaton
5. Breaking with Anthropocentrism: Genesis 1
6. Breaking with Conservationism: Isaiah 11:1-9
7. The Sacramentality of the Cosmos
8. Alternative Traditions and Interreligious Dialogue


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