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Animal Theology Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252064674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252064678
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This disturbing volume, based on a series of lectures given to the theology faculty at Oxford University, argues that contemporary agribusiness, based on the commodification of animals, is immoral and theologically indefensible. No vegan polemic or anti-vivisectionist tract, Lindzey's is a carefully prepared and argued discussion of the theology of animal rights in which the author takes the community of faith to task for its blindness to the centrality, within the Christian tradition, of duty to animals. Particularly damning are the chapters on scientific experimentation, hunting for sport, meat-eating and genetic engineering.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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This book does delve into some dense academic arguments at times.
Lee McCracken
Reverend Linzey gets to the very root of value when it comes to WHY people view non-humans as inferior which leads to the use of animals for experimentation.
Nadia
In conclusion, I found the book to be worthwhile, and would recommend it to anyone interested in animals rights and Christianity.
Michael Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Michael Morris on December 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Linzey approaches animal rights from a Biblical Christian perspective. He points out that in the garden of Eden Adam and Eve were totally vegan, as were all the animals. This therefore represents an ideal state of creation, which one day it can return to ("The lion will lie down with the lamb.."). Meat eating was allowed after the flood because of sin, and should be regarded as an emergency necessity rather than part of God's overall plan. If meat eating is not necessary for health (as it isn't in much of the world), then animals should be left alone. Linzey also refutes those who say that God gave us "dominion" over other living things, pointing out that the Bible points to Christ as an example of how "dominion" should be exercised. Christ used his superior ability to help human kind and to sacrifice Himself on our behalf, not to rule over us like a petty tyrant. I have always thought this myself, but it will certainly give me more confidence when arguing against evangelical fundamentalists to know that my opinions are backed up by an Oxford Professor of theology.
Linzey goes further than Singer or Regan in our duties to animals. He agrees with Regan that we differ from other animals as moral agents (though he doesn't use the term), since we are created in God's image. He then goes on to say that just as God became a servant for us, that the "image" we are created in is the image of a servant, not a dictator.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is one of many works by Prof. Linzey which grapple with the meaning of Christian faith and human relationships with other animals. In some respects, Prof. Linzey is quite traditional in his understanding of Christianity--that God is creator and redeemer, for instance, or that all are saved through Christ. However, he adds something unique (though not inconsistent) to his discussion of theology: "theos-rights," a concept emphasizing the fact that creation exists for God, not for humanity. From this, Linzey is able to show how Biblical texts and doctrines should point us toward a identifying with animals as God's creatures--not as objects to dominate over. This book is well written and an eloquent statement on behalf of Linzey's lifetime as a Christian theologian--and it pushes true Christians to become more God-centered, rather than self-centered. For those who might wish for a book that is less academic--but certainly as well written--try Linzey's "Animal Gospel."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lee McCracken on August 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Andrew Linzey is a Church of England priest and theologian is also a long-time animal rights activist. His book presents a strong challenge to Christians who think of animal rights as a concern confined to the likes of PETA and Peter Singer, and who see concern for animals as peripheral to the gospel at best and anti-Christian at worst.

What sets Linzey's approach apart from secular animal rights theorists like Tom Regan is that, for Linzey, rights are grounded in God, not in anything inherent to the subject of rights (human or animal). He calls these (in a rather unfortunate neologism) "theos-rights." By this he means that animals exist for the sake of God, not for human beings, and consequently we must reject a purely instrumentalist view of animals that subordinates them to human purposes. "Creation exists for its Creator" (p. 24). And God, as Christianity conceives of him, is for Creation. In his overflowing grace, God's will for creation, including animals, is for flourishing and well-being. "The notion of `theos-rights' then for animals means that God rejoices in the lives of those differentiated beings in creation enlivened by the Spirit. In short: If God is for them, we cannot be against them" (p. 25).

Linzey argues that just as Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays his life down for his sheep, we are called to exhibit costly and sacrificial love in our relationships with others, especially those who are powerless and at our mercy as animals undoubtedly are. This is what he calls "the moral priority of the weak." What makes humans unique and how we image God, he says, is that we are the "servant species;" like Jesus was can live in service to others rather than seeking our own advantage.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nadia on April 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
EXCELLENT BOOK! First of all please get the masterpiece Animal Gospel which a MUST buy for ANYONE interested in animal rights, which is written by the same author. This author is a British priest and theologian and his life's mission IS animal rights (besides being a priest for human beings). Both these books are outstanding and Animal Gospel being the ULTIMATE argument in defense of animals. (Also please see "Why Animal Suffering Matters" by the same author that takes the argument to the next level.) This book sometimes gets technical in its theological theme, but it is much more than theology--Linzey is all about reason and justice, and you really have to read the passion for reason and justice and the tremendous insight that this theologian has for animals. It is Reverend Linzey who says that animals deserve PRIORITY and major consideration in our society (he goes beyond Singer in both this book and especially in Animal Gospel) because they are the most vulnerable in our society. This is even beyond PETA that goes by Singer!!! Incredible!!!

Linzey jumpstarted the animal rights movement and EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT Christian or are sour to the Christian treatment of animals, these books--ESPECIALLY Animal Gospel will give you plenty of extra insight and AMUNITION with which to go out into the world and take the tremendous challenges much better than by reading lay books alone. Don't be fooled by the Christian label (except for Animal Theology that DOES indeed have it's Christian imprint) because there is SO MUCH INSIGHT TO USE EVEN if you are shy or repelled by Christianity and animal rights in the same sentence. Reverend Linzey gets to the very root of value when it comes to WHY people view non-humans as inferior which leads to the use of animals for experimentation.
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