Animals, Ethics, and Re-Thinking Christianity


I’m not so much of a practicing Christian, but this topic sounds extremely interesting:

English scholar David Clough will speak on his two-volume masterpiece On Animals , which has been called the “most significant Christian theological and ethical treatment of animals in the history of Christian ethics.”

In his two-volume work On Animals , David Clough has sought to change the way that Christianity values animals. In the first volume, published in 2012, Clough argued against the widespread erroneous theological view that all non-human creatures were made to serve human needs. Because God is the creator and redeemer of all things, we can no longer see other animals merely as means to human ends.

In the second volume, published this year, Clough sets out the radical implications of taking animals seriously in the context of Christian ethics. Following a first chapter examining the task of theological ethics in relation to animals and the way it relates to other accounts of animal ethics, the book is structured around particular topics: using other animals for food, for clothing, as laborers, as research subjects, for sport and entertainment, as pets or companions, and human impacts on wild animals. Each chapter presents a state-of-the-art overview of how humans engage with other animals in each area of practice, before offering an ethical analysis informed by the theological approach in the first volume.

There’s a public talk in February 2019 at the Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley, but I am curious what others think about this topic:

  • Have you read any of these books?

  • Is there enough room to even talk about re-thinking Christianity?

  • Do you know of any previous attempts to update Christianity?


RE: attempts to update Christianity: the Quakers’ book of faith and practice! is updated by a committee!

So for example, in 2015 they updated the section on marriage to include same-sex marriages :raised_hands:


The Quakers are so progressive and inclusive, I feel like many others could learn from them!


Good to read the thread I wanted to

send this link

Quaker info to your door :slight_smile:

I have also recently read a book by Richard Rohr (Franciscan) who writes about the Holy Trinity in particular in the book I read ’ The Divine Dance’ talks about relationship to each other and to others including the natural world.

I read it with a feeling of reverence for Christian teachings that I felt glad to feel - I recommend it to anyone wishing to have a relationship with the idea of God!

I felt similar reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s ideas of interbeing and reincarnation (Buddhist) caring, compassionate and beautiful language I felt-