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The Animals in Us – We in Animals

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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Not Being Angel. Manichaeism as an Obstacle to Thinking of a New Approach to Animality.

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Not Being Angel. Manichaeism as an Obstacle to Thinking of a New Approach to Animality

Rafał Zawisza

Abstract

I focus on the monastery life in Europe and its predomination of vita contemplativa upon vita activa. It isn’t hard to distinguish within Christianity its Manichaean component whose characteristic feature is a grudge against matter, body and sexuality. This complexity of ideas brought about the contempt of vital elements of human existence, so that its animal past, still present in Zivilisationsprozess. Alternative anthropology inspired by an evolutionism should based on the presumption that only through the appreciation of an animal dimension of us—instead of monastic desire of becoming an angel—will it be possible to create new perspectives for renegotiation of the human-animal boundaries.

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