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The Animals in Us – We in Animals

Edited By Szymon Wrobel

In art and literature, animals appear not only as an allegoric representation but as a reference which troubles the border between humanity and animality. The aim of this book is to challenge traditional ways of confronting animality with humanity and to consider how the Darwinian turn has modified this relationship in postmodern narratives. The subject of animality in culture, ethics, philosophy, art and literature is explored and reevaluated, and a host of questions regarding the conditions of co-existence of humans and animals is asked: Should discourse ethics now include entities that initially seemed mute and were excluded from discussions? Does the modern animal rights movement need a theology, and vice versa, is there a theology that needs animals? Are animals in literature just metaphors of human characters, or do they reveal something more profound, a direction of human desires, or a fantasy of transgressing humanity? This book provides answers and thus gives a new impetus to a so far largely overlooked field.
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Animals in Catholic Thought: A New Sensitivity?

Extract



Clair Linzey

Abstract

In this paper, I shall briefly outline some of the negative influences within the Christian tradition that have some bearing on the moral status of animals. These are principally that animals have no mind or reason, no immortal soul, sentiency, or moral status. These influences have given rise to notions of ‘instrumentalism’ and ‘humanism’ within the Catholic tradition that have eclipsed the moral status of animals. However, countervailing forces are at work weakening the grip of Thomism, and issuing in a general moral sensitivity to animals, as witnessed by the Catholic Catechism, the statements of Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI. Most especially Pope Francis’ insistence that humans should ‘protect’ not only creation, but also individual creatures is probably the most progressive papal statement on animals to date.

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