Symposium Introduction

Panelists

Candace Laughinghouse, Introduction
Jennifer Herdt
Darryl Trimiew
MT Davila
Eric Gregory

 

Overview

This book presents an authoritative and comprehensive survey of human practice in relation to other animals, together with a Christian ethical analysis building on the theological account of animals which David Clough developed in On Animals Volume I: Systematic Theology (2012). It argues that a Christian understanding of other animals has radical implications for their treatment by humans, with the human use and abuse of non-human animals for food the most urgent immediate priority.Following an introduction examining the task of theological ethics in relation to non-human animals and the way it relates to other accounts of animal ethics, this book surveys and assess the use humans make of other animals for food, for clothing, for labour, as research subjects, for sport and entertainment, as pets or companions, and human impacts on wild animals. The result is both a state-of-the-art account of what humans are doing to other animals, and a persuasive argument that Christians in particular have strong faith-based reasons to acknowledge the significance of the issues raised and change their practice in response.

Reviews and Endorsements

“Readers of Volume One of David Clough’s massive work, On Animals, will definitely not be disappointed with Volume Two. In both, his concern is with relationships between human and non-human animals. In the first volume, he probes a systematic theological understanding of doctrinal foundations embedded in creation, reconciliation, and redemption. In this second volume, he frames a critical Christian theological ethic aimed at benefitting both humans and other animals in relation to humans. Clough’s reach is astonishing–including humans’ need or want for food, help in labor, desire for entertainment, companionship, clothing, medical research, impact on wild animals, and the whole in relation to God. Most important to Clough is genuine human concern for Christians to take seriously the treatment of non-human animals. This yields radical implications for human and Christian practice, especially (though not solely) regarding food. I have seen no other writings that offer such a broad as well as deep overview of what humans are doing to other animals, or what they could do better for their animal neighbors throughout the world.” –  Margaret A. Farley, Gilbert L. Stark Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics, Yale University Divinity School, USA

On Animals I and II together represent the most significant Christian theological and ethical treatment of animals in the history of Christian ethics as an academic discipline. David Clough’s devastating analysis of the systematic human mistreatment of animals, especially in the food industry, will have a revolutionary impact, not just on an academic field but on lived Christian behavior — including my own. Every so often a book is produced that sets the standard for all other work in a field. This is one of those books.” –  David P. Gushee, Mercer University and President of the American Academy of Religion, USA

“David Clough’s much anticipated new volume picks up where he left off in volume one, redefining the very nature of systematic theology, and giving us new eyes to see not only theology but also God’s world. No theologian writing today has a deeper or richer understanding of what it means to be a co-creature than Clough. He is our most able theological guide in thinking about animals, food, and the built environment and this text (along with volume 1) is a redefining moment for how we should teach theology and hopefully a redefining moment for how we should live in the world with our animal-kin.” –  Willie James Jennings, Yale Divinity School, USA

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