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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Both “animals” and “religion” are contentious concepts, with many possible meanings and associations. This chapter takes animals to be eukaryotes distinct from protists, plants and fungi, and “religion” as the attempt to “live a dream.” I describe four principal ways of dreaming animals: triumphalist humanism (for which only “human” beings are of any interest); traditional notions of good husbandry (which requires “human” beings to care for the non-human, within limits set by human interests); notions of metempsychosis and transformation (where “human” and “non-human” are constantly shifting characters); and awakening to the real presence of others, and so—paradoxically—evacuating them of merely “religious” meaning.

Keywords: animal studies, animals, religion, humanism, covenant, metempsychosis, awakening

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