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A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics Hardcover – December 19, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0231136426 ISBN-10: 0231136420

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (December 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231136420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231136426
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,728,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


This substantial contribution opens up a broad field and will clearly be inspiration to further work on animals and religion. It is very much welcome.

(Ingvild Sælid Gilhus Journal of the American Academy of Religion)

A Communion of Subjects delivers a wealth of resources for stirring the conscience and stoking the imagination.

(Matthew Halteman Christian Century)

Unique, compassionate, and far-reaching

(Frederick M. Smith religious Studies Review 1900-01-00)


This groundbreaking volume contains an impressive number of useful and thought-provoking articles organized in an accessible and helpful manner. It will serve as a terrific teaching tool in introductory and cross-disciplinary courses. The editors, who are themselves leading figures in the field, have skillfully blended the essays such that all of the major discourses (religion, science, art, law, ethics, environmentalism) surrounding "the animal question" are addressed. This is a volume that I and several other instructors will find immensely valuable.

(Matthew Calarco, chair and assistant professor of philosophy, Sweet Briar College, Virginia, and editor of Animal Philosophy)

More About the Author

Paul Waldau is an educator-scholar-activist working at the intersection of animal studies, ethics, religion, law and cultural studies. He is the Senior Faculty member at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, for the two-year on-line Master of Science program in Anthrozoology. The website for this program is

He is also currently (Spring 2014) the Bob Barker Visiting Associate Professor of Animal Law. He also teaches Harvard University's Summer Term online course "Animals: Religion and Ethics."

Paul has completed five books. Oxford University Press published his most recent book, "Animal Studies" in February 2013, as well as his fourth book, "Animal Rights," in 2011. OUP also published his first book in 2001, "The Specter of Speciesism: Buddhist and Christian Views of Animals." In 2006, Columbia University Press published "A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics", a major edited collection done in conjunction with Professor Kimberley Patton of Harvard Divinity School. In 2008 Paul co-edited "An Elephant in the Room: The Science and Well-being of Elephants in Captivity", which was published by Tufts University's Center for Animals and Public Policy.

A former trial lawyer and partner in a major California law firm, Paul left the practice of law to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy degree at University of Oxford. He then was a post-doctoral Senior Fellow at Harvard's Center for the Study of World Religion. He has also directed reading groups in animal law at Yale Law School. From 2004 through 2008 Paul was the Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is also the President of the Religion and Animals Institute.

More details are available at www.paulwaldau.com and www. religionandanimals.org

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anna Karenina on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great collection, much needed, full of extremely useful articles. Unfortunately, there are an amazing number of editing errors and typos. Even the centerpiece of the collection, by Thomas Berry, has several errors. Considering how beautifully the book was produced, this surprises me. The book doesn't quite cover everything you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask, about animals and religion, but it comes close.
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Format: Paperback
really good book, some passages are a bit confusing and hard to read but over all its a good bood
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By -JP on September 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Does a good job of surveying the subject matter.
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