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Animal Gospel Paperback – October 1, 1999

5 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The latest work of Christian scholar Linzey is his most impassioned and trenchant to date. Here, he contends and urgently argues that the necessity of Christ-like ministry does not and should not exclude animals ("the brute creation")-instead, it ought to speak especially to them. Who is more deserving of God's mercy, and ours, than the mute and the suffering? Linzey moves easily between Scriptural precept and contemporary example in this moving and heartfelt volume, one of the most interesting works of theology to appear in years. Highly recommended.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Andrew Linzey is an Anglican priest, a theologian, a writer, and is internationally known as an authority on Christianity and animals. He is a member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford, and holds the world's first academic post in Ethics, Theology and Animal Welfare--the Bede Jarret Senior Research Fellowship at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford. He is currently Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham in England and Special Professor at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. He has written numerous articles and authored many books on animal theology and ethics.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664221939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664221935
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Andrew Linzey is often called the chaplain of the animal rights movement, but that is hardly fair. The title, "chaplain," suggests someone who gives a bit of moral advice or adds some solemnity to a public occasion. Linzey does much more than that. For many years, he has been developing one of the most creative and constructive Christian theological projects. He is a systematic thinker in the sense that he examines and transforms every aspect of Christian doctrine from the perspective of compassion for animals. Yet he also is faithful and consistent in his appropriation of the Christian tradition. Indeed, he manages to recover aspects of Christianity of which even the most faithful are frequently unaware. I have often taught Linzey's earlier book, Animal Theology, in a college course, and that book is pitched at a slightly higher level than this one. But this book, Animal Gospel, is his most passionate and engaging work yet. If you are interested in what Christian theologians say about the animal rights movement, this is the one book to get. Linzey blends the theoretical and the practical in a comprehensive vision of what it means to be a Christian, not just what it means to be an animal rights activist. If you read this book, your views of Christianity will be changed as much as your views of animals. My only problem with Linzey is that sometimes he is too quick to use the language and assumptions of the animal rights movement, but the more I read of him, the more I realize that he uses the rhetoric of rights as a strategy to best implement the compassionate ideal of Christian faith. There is a growing movement among theologians to talk not just about the environment or nature but also about our specific obligations to animals, and we owe this movement to Linzey's pioneering work.
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By A Customer on August 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Once again, Dr. Andrew Linzey has delivered a wonderful and inspiring appeal for Christians and peoples of every faith to embrace the highest virtue - EMPATHY. He proclaims that a heightened sense of empathy brings us closer to God and permits us to live in harmony with one another and all of creation. A commitment to jump off our "human" pedestal and experience the wonders and beauty of God's creation in a humble and respectful manner is the true essence of Spirituality. "Animal Gospel" is a truly enlightening exposition.
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Format: Paperback
Andrew Linzey provides a thought-provoking, erudite argument for why Christians ought to be concerned about animals. He does not resort to ill-founded arguments or emotionally manipulative pleas. Rather, he outlines in logical fashion the issues at hand: Animals are one of God's concerns; because God cares for animals so should those who claim to be God's people.

The first part of the book makes the case for animal rights--but Linzey carefully defines what he means by animal rights. Animals have rights because they were created by God and have intrinsic value as a result. Linzey does not put animals above humans or even discuss them in terms of "equal rights." Instead he asserts that while humans are given dominion over all creation, dominion is defined as service, protection and compassion. In other words, dominion is not unrestrained power and the right of superiority, it is the responsibility to love the world as God loves--via service. He does not minimize humanity, but demands that our humanocentric belief that God is only concerned about humans is simply wrong.

Linzey challenges the church to rise up to her responsibility. In several chapters, he outlines how irresponsibly the church has acted in regard to the environment and animals--both in theology and praxis. Yet, in other chapters he describes signs of hope-moments when Christians have stood up for ethical treatment of animals.

Linzey has spent years of his career developing his arguments. This book represents a collection of his best work (several chapters were previously published in other formats). The work is copiously footnoted and rigorously researched. For anyone who wishes to explore the issue animal rights from a Christian perspective, this is an excellent place to start.
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This book represents a REAL MASTERPIECE of work--VERY DEEP PROBING, DEEP REASONING AND THOUGHT, and VERY DEEP HEART work into Christian theology and the rights of non-humans. It is worth much more than 5 stars.

This book should not be overlooked by ANY person concerned with the rights of non-humans. It is first-rate superb work, splendid work from a well-known British priest and theologian.

I really CANNOT GIVE ENOUGH PRAISE to the author and this book. Finally activists have an ally linked to the Christian Church who REALLY SPELLS IT ALL OUT FOR YOU IN GRAND STYLE AND IN PERFECT STYLE WITH ALL THE DETAILS. You could not find a better example of animal theology--and really--of "REASON and JUSTICE" for non-humans in the name of the Christian Church in any other book or writing. I was astonished at the exhaustive and exquisite effort involved in this book.

REALLY trust me on this one!!

I highly recommend Animal Theology and Why Animal Suffering Matters by the same author. These three books go together--"Animal Gospel" and "Why Animal Suffering Matters" are the final arguments.

The following has been added September 2009 in order to support comments I made in another review I did:

Reverend Andrew Linzey is a spiritual leader, religious leader. I adore him. Here are some excerpts from his "The Ethics of Hunting": You can read the entire "The Ethics of Hunting" on the internet. Everything in quotations are his words and I do not claim them to be my own.

The following excerpts are from Reverend Andrew Linzey, British priest and theologian. They are part of his report entitled The Ethics of Hunting.
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