314 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    314 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    What do animals—other than human animals—have to do with religion? How do our religious ideas about animals affect the lives of real animals in the world? How can we deepen our understanding of both animals and religion by considering them together? Animals and Religion explores how animals have crucially shaped how we understand ourselves, the other living beings around us, and our relationships with them.

    Through incisive analyses of religious examples from around the world, the original contributions to this volume demonstrate how animals have played key roles in every known religious tradition, whether as sacred beings, symbols, objects of concern, fellow creatures, or religious teachers. And through our religious imagination, ethics, and practices, we have deeply impacted animal lives, whether by domesticating, sacrificing, dominating, eating, refraining from eating, blessing, rescuing, releasing, commemorating, or contemplating them. Drawing primarily on perspectives from religious studies and Christian theology, augmented by cutting-edge work in anthropology, biology, philosophy, and psychology, Animals and Religion offers the reader a richer understanding of who animals are and who we humans are. Do animals have emotions? Do they think or use language? Are they persons? How we answer questions like these affects diverse aspects of religion that shape not only how we relate to other animals, but also how we perceive and misperceive each other along axes of gender, race, and (dis)ability.

    Accessibly written and thoughtfully argued, Animals and Religion will interest anyone who wants to learn more about animals, religion, and what it means to be a human animal.

    On Human Animal Being: An Opening

    Linda Hogan


    Introduction to Animals and Religion

    Aaron S. Gross, Dave Aftandilian, and Barbara R. Ambros


    Part I: Religion and Identity

    1. L’nuwey Views of Animal Personhood and Their Implications

    Margaret Robinson


    2. Animal Consciousness and Cognition

    Robert W. Mitchell and Mark A. Krause


    3. Emotion

    Donovan O. Schaefer


    4. Gender and Sexuality

    Katharine Mershon


    5. Race, Animals, and a New Vision of the Beloved Community

    Christopher Carter


    6. From Inspirational Beings to “Mad” Veg/ans: Tensions and Possibilities between Animal Studies and Disability Studies

    Alan Santinele Martino and Sarah May Lindsay


    7. Human Beings and Animals: Same, Other, Indistinct?

    Matthew Calarco


    Part II: Religious Practices and Presences

    8. Learning to Walk Softly: Intersecting Insect Lifeworlds in Everyday Buddhist Monastic Life

    Lina Verchery


    9. An Islamic Case for Insect Ethics

    Sarra Tlili


    10. Animal Theology

    Allison Covey


    11. Blue Theology and Water Torah: People of Faith Caring for Marine Wildlife

    Dave Aftandilian


    12. Animal Families in the Biblical Tradition

    Beth A. Berkowitz


    13. The Cat Mitzvah: Jewish Literary Animals

    Andrea Dara Cooper


    14. Blessings of Pets in Jewish and Christian Traditions

    Laura Hobgood


    15. Becoming-Priceless through Sacrifice: A Goat for San Lázaro-Babalú Ayé

    Todd Ramón Ochoa


    16. Refraining from Killing and Releasing Life? The Ethical Dilemmas of Animal Release Rituals in East Asia

    Barbara R. Ambros


    17. Vegetarianism, Prohibited Meats, and Caring for Animals in Chinese Religious History

    Vincent Goossaert


    18. The Difficult Virtue of Vegetarianism in Tibetan Buddhism

    Geoffrey Barstow


    19. Veganism as Spiritual Practice

    Adrienne Krone


    20. The Spiritual Practice of Providing Sanctuary for Animals

    Barbara Darling


    21. Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics

    Kenneth R. Valpey


    22. The Council of All Beings: A Deep Ecology Ritual Connecting People with Animals and the Natural World

    Eric D. Mortensen


    23. Commemorating Animals in Asia, Europe, and the U.S.: Celebrating Kinship or Manifesting Difference?

    Barbara R. Ambros


    Part III: Religious Responses to Animal Lives

    24. Contemplative Practices for Connecting to Animals (and Ourselves)

    Dave Aftandilian


    25. Companion Animals

    Laura Hobgood


    26. Domestication and Religion

    Nerissa Russell


    27. The Ethics of Eating Animals: Jewish Responses

    Aaron S. Gross


    28. Meditations on Living with Ghosts: The Settlement Legacy of Buffalo Extinction

    James Hatley


    29. Urban Wildlife: Threats, Opportunities, and Religious Responses

    Seth B. Magle and Dave Aftandilian


    30. The Connection We Share: Animal Spirituality and the Science of Sacred Encounters

    Barbara Smuts, Becca Franks, Monica Gagliano, and Christine Webb.


    About the Contributors




    Dave Aftandilian is Associate Professor of Anthropology, member of the leadership team for the Compassionate Awareness and Living Mindfully (CALM) Program, and founding Director of the Human-Animal Relationships (HARE) Program at Texas Christian University.

    Barbara R. Ambros is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

    Aaron S. Gross is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, a past president of the Society for Jewish Ethics, and the founder of the nonprofit organization Farm Forward.