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A Communion of Subjects


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A Communion of Subjects is the first comparative and interdisciplinary study of the conceptualization of animals in world religions. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including Thomas Berry (cultural history), Wendy Doniger (study of myth), Elizabeth Lawrence (veterinary medicine, ritual studies), Marc Bekoff (cognitive ethology), Marc Hauser (behavioral science), Steven Wise (animals and law), Peter Singer (animals and ethics), and Jane Goodall (primatology) consider how major religious traditions have incorporated animals into their belief systems, myths, rituals, and art. Their findings offer profound insights into the relationship between human beings and animals, and a deeper understanding of the social and ecological web in which we all live.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Essay Abstracts Heritage of Volume - Mary Evelyn Tucker Prologue - Loneliness and Presence - Thomas Berry Introduction - Paul Waldau and Kimberly Patton Part I Part II

About the Author

Kimberley C. Patton (PhD, Religion, Harvard) is Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion at Harvard Divinity School. She is the author of Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity (Oxford, 2009), which and won the 2010 American Academy of Religion Book Award for Excellence in Religious Studies in the Analytical-Descriptive category, and The Sea Can Wash Away All Evils: Modern Marine Pollution and the Ancient Cathartic Ocean (Columbia, 2006) and the editor of (with Benjamin Ray) A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in the Postmodern Age (California, 2000), (with John Stratton Hawley) Holy Tears: Weeping in the Religious Imagination (Princeton, 2005), and (with Paul Waldau) A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics (Columbia, 2006).


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 SA|lid 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

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