A Look Back at Animal Theology in 2014 (and a look forward)

2014 was a great year for animal theology if you take the number of publications on the topic as an indicator. In addition to the Summer edition of the Journal of Moral Theology, the first ever issue of an academic Journal dedicated entirely to non-human animals in Catholic moral theology, there were also a good deal of books on animal theology this year (more perhaps than in any previous year). The titles that I’m aware of include, the following:

Celia Deane-Drummond, The Wisdom of the Liminal: Evolution and Other Animals in Human Becoming

Elizabeth A. Johnson, Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love

Jennifer L. Koosed (Ed), The Bible and Posthumanism

Ronald E. Osborn, Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering

Ryan Patrick McLauglin, Christian Theology and the Status of Animals: The Dominant Tradition and its Alternatives

Ryan Patrick McLauglin, Preservation and Protest: Theological Foundations for an Eco-Eschatological Ethics

Stephen Moore (Ed), Divinanimality: Animal Theory, Creaturely Theology

Trent Dougherty, The Problem of Animal Pain: A Theodicy for All Creatures Great and Small

[Honorable mentions go to (1) Gordon Lindsay Campbell’s (Ed), Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life (not really a theology text, but a major contribution to our understanding of how animals were understood in the ancient world), and (2) Tripp York and Andy Alexis-Baker’s (Eds), A Faith Encompassing All Creation: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions about Christian Care for the Environment (not really on animals, but related)].

In the coming weeks, I will be updating some of the pages here (something long overdue). It’s one of my resolutions, as the new year approaches, to commit to writing much more frequently, even if that means many posts will consist entirely of summaries of my readings with little input of my own. I hope, at the very least, that this will keep my studies from stagnating. If I’m lucky, it will help to get some of the really great scholarly work being done in theology and animal studies out there to others in the blogosphere. In addition, I plan to expand the scope of the blog this year. Animal issues are, for me (and I suspect this is true for other Christians as well) one part of a much broader web of intersecting social justice struggles. Going forward, this blog will make intersectionality a high priority, exploring a plurality of perspectives that converge in their critique(s) of oppression and kyriarchy. There are a few books on posthumanism and critical animal studies that I plan to read as well, and so naturally, this means I will be writing about these subjects as well. All of this, I hope, will ultimately aid in the development of a richer theological discussion of the question of the animal and animality, while linking this with related critiques.

Thank you to everyone who has shown an interest in this blog. Thank you for your patience and your support.

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3 thoughts on “A Look Back at Animal Theology in 2014 (and a look forward)

  1. An interesting list with some titles I didn’t know about that I will now add to my (happily) ever-growing reading list. I would add Eden’s Other Residents: The Bible and Animals by Michael Gilmour and possibly Fierce Convictions, a book by Karen Swallow Prior about Hannah More, an evangelical reformer who, I believe, was an early animal advocate (on the order of Wilberforce). But I haven’t read that book yet, so I don’t know how much of it has to do with animals.

    I’m looking forward to continuing to follow this blog in 2015 and hope you are able to stick to your resolution. I know how hard it is to keep up with regular writing!

  2. Thank you for the suggestions, Lois. I completely forgot about Eden’s Other Residents, and Fierce Convictions is totally new to me.

    I admire your ability to make consistently substantive posts on a relatively frequent basis. I hope to be able to find the time and energy to do the same. I look forward to more from Dominion in the Image of God in 2015.

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