- Introduction: Religion and Ecology—What Is the Connection and Why Does It Matter?
- The Earth as Sacrament: Insights from Orthodox Christian Theology and Spirituality
- The World of Nature according to the Protestant Tradition
- Jainism and Ecology: Transformation of Tradition
- Hindu Religion and Environmental Well-being
- The Greening of Buddhism: Promise and Perils
- Daoism and Nature
- Motifs for a New Confucian Ecological Vision
- Religion and Ecology in African Culture and Society
- Indigenous Traditions: Religion and Ecology
- Population, Religion, and Ecology
- Genetic Engineering and Nature: Human and Otherwise
- So Near and Yet So Far: Animal Theology and Ecological Theology
- Religious Ecofeminism: Healing the Ecological Crisis
- Science and Religion in the Face of the Environmental Crisis
- Religion and Ecology: Survey of the Field
- The Spiritual Dimension of Nature Writing
- Religion, Environmentalism, and the Meaning of Ecology
- Religious Environmentalism in Action
- Religion and Environmental Struggles in Latin America
- African Initiated Churches as Vehicles of Earth-Care in Africa
- The Scientist and the Shepherd: The Emergence of Evangelical Environmentalism
- Religion and Environmentalism in America and Beyond
Abstract and Keywords
What do we see when we look at nature? As Max Weber famously said: “All knowledge comes from a point of view.” What, then, are the points of view that make animal theology and ecological theology such, apparently, uncomfortable bedfellows? Of course, every reforming movement is notoriously hostile to those who see, but do not yet quite see what they have seen, and so it is with animal and ecological theologies. On paper, the agreements appear so considerable that many cannot quite see that there is an issue of difference at all. Perhaps the best way of seeing the difference is to see through the eyes of Annie Dillard, whose book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is widely regarded as a testimony to ecological wisdom. The enduring value of theology to thinking about animals and ecology consists in a recognition that God relativizes all our human perceptions. If we have not seen this then all our visions will be hopelessly partial. Theology promises a God-centered rather than a human-centered view of the world.
Andrew Linzey is a member of the faculty of theology in the University of Oxford and holds the world's first post in theology and animal welfare: the Bede Jarrett Senior Research Fellowship at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. He is also honorary professor of theology in the University of Birmingham and special professor at Saint Xavier University, Chicago. He has written or edited twenty books, including Animal Theology; Animal Gospel; and Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care; and is coeditor of Animal Rights: A Historical Anthology.
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