God, Humans, and Animals: An Invitation to Enlarge Our Moral Universe

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William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2003 - Nature - 358 pages
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This is a book about animals and the moral life. The kinds of questions it raises are profound and consequential: Do animals have moral standing? Do human beings have moral obligations to animals? If so, how extensive and weighty are those obligations? Robert Wennberg finds it troubling that society at large seems to care more about such concerns than the Christian community does, and he invites people of faith not only to think more deeply about ethical concerns for animals but also to enter into a richer, more sensitive moral life in general.

Over the course of his thought-provoking discussion, Wennberg educates readers about some of the history of ethical concern for animals and the nature of that concern. He also invites serious reflection on the moral issues raised by the existence of animals in our world, while granting readers considerable latitude in reaching their own conclusions. Wennberg arrives at his own conclusions through careful interaction with church history, Christian theology, the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and the best philosophical thought on the moral status of animals. Two compelling case studies -- of factory farming and painful animal research are also included.

All in all, "God, Humans, and Animals" offers a complete, balanced, and convincing argument for the moral recognition of animals. Most readers will be challenged -- and some may be changed -- by this provocative study.

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About the author (2003)

Robert N. Wennberg is professor of philosophy at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California.

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