A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics

Front Cover
Paul Waldau, Kimberley Christine Patton
Columbia University Press, Dec 19, 2006 - Nature - 720 pages

A Communion of Subjects is the first comparative and interdisciplinary study of the conceptualization of animals in world religions. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including Thomas Berry (cultural history), Wendy Doniger (study of myth), Elizabeth Lawrence (veterinary medicine, ritual studies), Marc Bekoff (cognitive ethology), Marc Hauser (behavioral science), Steven Wise (animals and law), Peter Singer (animals and ethics), and Jane Goodall (primatology) consider how major religious traditions have incorporated animals into their belief systems, myths, rituals, and art. Their findings offer profound insights into humans' relationships with animals and a deeper understanding of the social and ecological web in which we all live.

Contributors examine Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Daoism, Confucianism, African religions, traditions from ancient Egypt and early China, and Native American, indigenous Tibetan, and Australian Aboriginal traditions, among others. They explore issues such as animal consciousness, suffering, sacrifice, and stewardship in innovative methodological ways. They also address contemporary challenges relating to law, biotechnology, social justice, and the environment. By grappling with the nature and ideological features of various religious views, the contributors cast religious teachings and practices in a new light. They reveal how we either intentionally or inadvertently marginalize "others," whether they are human or otherwise, reflecting on the ways in which we assign value to living beings.

Though it is an ancient concern, the topic of "Religion and Animals" has yet to be systematically studied by modern scholars. This groundbreaking collection takes the first steps toward a meaningful analysis.

 

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Contents

Heritage of the Volume Mary Evelyn Tucker 1
1
Loneliness and Presence Thomas Berry 5
5
Introduction Paul Waldau and Kimberley Patton 11
11
IN AND OUT OF TIME 25
25
Caught with Ourselves in the Net of Life and Time Traditional Views of Animals in Religion Kimberley Patton 27
27
Seeing the Terrain We Walk Features of the Contemporary Landscape of Religion and Animals Paul Waldau 40
40
PART II ANIMALS IN ABRAHAMIC TRADITIONS JUDAISM
63
Sacrifice in Ancient Israel Pure Bodies Domesticated Animals and the Divine Shepherd Jonathan Klawans 65
65
A Symbol in Search of an Object The Mythology of Horses in India Wendy Doniger 335
335
Animals in African Mythology Kofi Opoku 351
351
Why Umbulka Killed His Master Aboriginal Reconciliation and the Australian Wild Dog Canis lupus dingo Ian McIntosh 360
360
PART VII ANIMALS IN RITUAL
371
Knowing and Being Known by Animals Indigenous Perspectives on Personhood John Grim 373
373
Animal Sacrifice Metaphysics of the Sublimated Victim Kimberley Patton 391
391
Hunting the Wren A Sacred Bird in Ritual Elizabeth Lawrence 406
406
Of Mice and Men in Roman Thought Christopher McDonough 413
413

Hope for the Animal Kingdom A Jewish Vision Dan CohnSherbok 81
81
Hierarchy Kinship and Responsibility The Jewish Relationship to The Animal World Roberta Kalechofsky 91
91
CHRISTIANITY
101
The Bestiary of Heretics Imaging Medieval Christian Heresy with Insects and Animals Beverly Kienzle 103
103
Descartes Christianity and Contemporary Speciesism Gary Steiner 117
117
Practicing the Presence of God A Christian Approach to Animals Jay McDaniel 132
132
ISLAM
147
This shecamel of God is a sign to you Dimensions of Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Culture Richard Foltz 149
149
Toward an Ecology of Being Zayn Kassam 160
160
Oh that I could be a bird and fly I would rush to the Beloved Birds in Islamic Mystical Poetry Ali Asani 170
170
PART III ANIMALS IN INDIAN TRADITIONS HINDUISM
177
Cows Elephants Dogs and Other Lesser Embodiments of Ātman Reflections on Hindu Attitudes Toward Nonhuman Animals Lance Nelson 177
179
Strategies of Vedic Subversion The Emergence of Vegetarianism in PostVedic India Edwin Bryant 194
194
BUDDHISM
205
A vast unsupervised recycling plant Animals and the Buddhist Cosmos Ian Harris 207
207
SnakeKings Boars Heads Deer Parks Monkey Talk Animals as Transmitters and Transformers in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Narratives Ivette Varga...
218
JAINISM
239
Animals and the Jaina Tradition Christopher Chapple 241
241
FiveSensed Animals in Jainism Kristi Wiley 250
250
PART IV ANIMALS IN CHINESE TRADITIONS EARLY CHINESE RELIGION
257
Animals in Early Chinese Religion Roel Sterckx 259
259
DAOISM
273
Daoism and Animals E N Anderson and Lisa Raphals 275
275
CONFUCIANISM
291
Of Animals and Humans The Confucian Perspective Rodney Taylor 293
293
PART V EAST MEETS WEST ANIMALS IN PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURAL HISTORY
309
Human Exceptionalism versus Cultural Elitism Or Three in the morning four at night 朝三暮四 Roger Ames 311
311
Humans and Animals The History from a ReligioEcological Perspective Jordan Paper 325
325
PART VI ANIMALS IN MYTH
333
Raven Augury from Tibet to Alaska Dialects Divine Agency and the BirdsEye View Eric Mortensen 413
423
PART VIII ANIMALS IN ART
437
On the Dynamis of Animals or How Animalium Became Anthropos Diane ApostolosCappadona 439
439
PART IX ANIMALS AS SUBJECTS ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR SCIENCE
459
Wild Justice Social Cognition Fairness and Morality A Deep Appreciation for the Subjective Lives of Animals Marc Bekoff 461
461
From Cognition to Consciousness Donald Griffin 481
481
Are Animals Moral Agents? Evolutionary Building Blocks of Morality Marc Hauser 505
505
Ethics Biotechnology and Animals Bernard Rollin 519
519
Animal Experimentation Kenneth Shapiro 533
533
PART X ARE ANIMALS FOR HUMANS? THE ISSUES OF FACTORY FARMING
545
Caring for Farm Animals Pastoralist Ideals in an Industrialized World David Fraser 547
547
Agriculture Livestock and Biotechnology Values Profits and Ethics Michael Fox 556
556
Agribusiness Farming Without Culture Gary Valen 568
568
LAW SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS AND THE LAW
583
Animal Law and Animal Sacrifice Analysis of the US Supreme Court Ruling on Santerķa Animal Sacrifice in Hialeah Steven Wise 585
585
ANIMALS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
589
A very rare and difficult thing Ecofeminism Attention to Animal Suffering and the Disappearance of the Subject Carol Adams 591
591
Interlocking Oppressions The Nature of Cruelty to Nonhuman Animals and its Relationship to Violence Toward Humans Kim Roberts 605
605
Animal Protection and the Problem of Religion An Interview with Peter Singer Peter Singer 616
616
ANIMALS AND GLOBAL STEWARDSHIP
619
Earth Charter Ethics and Animals Steven Rockefeller 621
621
Pushing Environmental Justice to a Natural Limit Paul Waldau 629
629
CONCLUSION
643
A Communion of Subjects and a Multiplicity of Intelligences Mary Evelyn Tucker 645
645
EPILOGUE
649
The Dance of Awe Jane Goodall 651
651
Contributors 657
657
Index 667
667
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About the author (2006)

Kimberley C. Patton (PhD, Religion, Harvard) is Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion at Harvard Divinity School. She is the author of Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity (Oxford, 2009), which and won the 2010 American Academy of Religion Book Award for Excellence in Religious Studies in the Analytical-Descriptive category, and The Sea Can Wash Away All Evils: Modern Marine Pollution and the Ancient Cathartic Ocean (Columbia, 2006) and the editor of (with Benjamin Ray) A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in the Postmodern Age (California, 2000), (with John Stratton Hawley) Holy Tears: Weeping in the Religious Imagination (Princeton, 2005), and (with Paul Waldau) A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics (Columbia, 2006).

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