1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Animal Ethics

ISBN 9781138592728
Published October 15, 2018 by Routledge
390 Pages

USD $245.00

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Book Description

The ethical treatment of non-human animals is an increasingly significant issue, directly affecting how people share the planet with other creatures and visualize themselves within the natural world. The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Animal Ethics is a key reference source in this area, looking specifically at the role religion plays in the formation of ethics around these concerns.

Featuring thirty-five chapters by a team of international contributors, the handbook is divided into two parts. The first gives an overview of fifteen of the major world religions’ attitudes towards animal ethics and protection. The second features five sections addressing the following topics:

  • Human Interaction with Animals
  • Killing and Exploitation
  • Religious and Secular Law
  • Evil and Theodicy
  • Souls and Afterlife

This handbook demonstrates that religious traditions, despite often being anthropocentric, do have much to offer to those seeking a framework for a more enlightened relationship between humans and non-human animals. As such, The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Animal Ethics is essential reading for students and researchers in religious studies, theology, and animal ethics as well as those studying the philosophy of religion and ethics more generally.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A New(er) Religious Ethic for Animals

Andrew Linzey and Clair Linzey


Part I: Traditions

1. African Religions: Anthropocentrism and Animal Protection

Kai Horsthemke

2. Anglican Christianity: Animal Questions for Christian Doctrine

Lucy Gardner

3. Buddhism: Paradox and Practice—Morally Relevant Distinctions in the Buddhist Characterization of Animals

Alex Bruce

4. Confucianism and Daoism: Animals in Traditional Chinese Thought

Deborah Cao

5. Evangelical Christianity: Lord of Creation or Animal among Animals? Dominion, Darwin, and Duty

Philip Sampson

6. Hinduism: Animating Samadhi—Rethinking Animal–Human Relationships through Yoga

Kenneth Valpey

7. Islam: Ants, Birds, and Other Affable Creatures in the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sufi Literature

Neal Robinson

8. Jainism: Animals and the Ethics of Intervention

Joseph A. Tuminello III

9. Judaism: The Human Animal and All Other Animals—Dominion or Duty?

Tony Bayfield

10. Mormonism: Harmony and Dissonance between Religion and Animal Ethics

Christopher Foster

11. Native American Religion: Restoring Species to the Circle of Life

Sidney Blankenship

12. Orthodox Christianity: Compassion for Animals

Kallistos Ware

13. Rastafarianism: A Hermeneutic of Animal Care

Adrian Anthony McFarlane

14. Roman Catholicism: A Strange Kind of Kindness—On Catholicism’s Moral Ambiguity toward Animals

Kurt Remele

15. Sikh Dharam: Ethics and Behavior toward Animals

Jagbir Jhutti-Johal



Part II: Issues


Human Interaction with Animals

16. "Nations like Yourselves": Some Muslim Debates over Qur’an 6:38

Tim Winter

17. Invoking Another World: An Interreligious Reflection on Hindu Mythology

Michael Barnes

18. A New Ethic of Holiness: Celtic Saints and Their Kinship with Animals

Edward C. Sellner

19. Franciscan Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation: A Creation without Creatures

Andrea Barone


Killing and Exploitation

20. Animals in Christian and Muslim Thought: Creatures, Creation, and Killing for Food

Carl Tobias Frayne

21. "You Shall Not Eat Any Abominable Thing" (Deut. 14:3)—An Examination of the Old Testament Food Laws with Animal Ethics in Mind

Deborah W. Rooke

22. Eden’s Diet: Christianity and Vegetarianism

Samantha Jane Calvert

23. Religion, Ethics, and Vegetarianism: The Case of McDonald’s in India

Kay Peggs

24. The Sacred and Mundane Cow: The History of India’s Cattle Protection Movement

Kelsi Nagy

25. Exposing the Harm in Euthanasia: Ahimsa and an Alternative View on Animal Welfare as Expressed in the Beliefs and Practices of the Skanda Vale Ashram, West Wales

Samantha Hurn


Religious and Secular Law

26. Animals in Western Christian Canon Law

Simon Pulleyn

27. Catholic Law on Bullfighting

Margarita Carretero-González

28. Legal Responses to Questions of Animal Ethics and Religious Freedom

Rachel Wechsler

29. Veganism as a Legally Protected Religion

Lisa Johnson


Evil and Theodicy

30. Gratuitous Animal Suffering and the Evidential Problem of Evil

Max Elder

31. How Good Is Nature? The Fall, Evolution, and Predation

Ryan Patrick McLaughlin

32. Evolution, Animal Suffering, and Ethics: A Response to Christopher Southgate

Neil Messer


Souls and Afterlife

33. Buddhist Rebirth, Reincarnation, and Animal Welfare

Alex Bruce

34. A Spark Divine? Animal Souls and Animal Welfare in Nineteenth-Century Britain

A. W. H. Bates

35. The Difference Bodily Resurrection Makes: Caring for Animals While Hoping for Heaven

Margaret B. Adam

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Andrew Linzey is the director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics; an honorary research fellow at St Stephen’s House, University of Oxford; and a member of the Faculty of Theology in the University of Oxford. He is a visiting professor of animal theology at the University of Winchester and a professor of animal ethics at the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana.

Clair Linzey is the deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She holds an MA in theological studies from the University of St Andrews and an MTS from Harvard Divinity School. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of St Andrews on the ecological theology of Leonardo Boff, with special consideration of the place of animals.


"This handbook demonstrates that religious tradi-tions, despite often being anthropocentric, do have much to offer to those seeking a frame-work for a more enlightened relationship between humans and non-human animals."

- Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology