Animal Ethics and Theology
The Lens of the Good Samaritan
Routledge – 2012 – 240 pages
Series: Routledge Studies in Religion
In this book, Daniel K. Miller articulates a new vision of human and animal relationships based on the foundational love ethic within Christianity. Framed around Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, Animal Ethics and Theology thoughtfully examines the shortcomings of utilitarian and rights-based approaches to animal ethics. By considering the question of animals within the Christian concept of neighbourly love, Miller provides an alternative narrative for understanding the complex relationships that humans have with other animals.
This book addresses significant theological questions such as: Does being created in the image of God present a meaningful distinction between humans and other animals? What does it mean for humans to have dominion (Gen. 1:28) over animals? Is meat eating a moral problem for Christians? In addition to drawing out the significance of Christian theology for field of animal ethics this book also engages environmental and feminist ethics. Miller brings a theological perspective to such questions as: Should care for animals be distinguished from care for the environment, and what role should human emotions play in our ethical dealings with other animals? As the title suggests, this book provides fresh insight into the theological significance of human relationships with other animals.
"…A clear and persuasive argument for Christian responsibility to care for our animal neighbours." – Jennifer Brown, Animalwatch, Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals
"Miller’s book is an engaging one which presents a detailed account of the human relation to nonhuman animals in terms of the three themes of responsibility, caring and nearness…Miller builds a strong case for his presentation of an ethical responsibility towards animals founded upon an understanding of the animal as neighbor…Miller’s book is…a well-written and well-presented case for the theological significance of animal ethics." -Kris Hiuser, University of Chester, UK
Introduction 1. Responsibility, Imago Dei, and Animal Neighbors 2. ‘Caring’ for Animal Neighbors, Part I 3. ‘Caring’ for Animal Neighbors, Part II 4. Drawing Near to Animal Neighbors 5. Human Dominion and Animal Neighbors 6. Christian Eating and Animal Neighbors Conclusion: Naming the Animals Appendix Notes Bibliography Index
Daniel K. Miller received a Master of Divinity from Duke University and PhD in Theology and Ethics from the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of articles and book chapters on theological, environmental, and animal ethics.