Sahnhar lec 2


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Sahnhar lec 2

  1. 1. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Society & Human/Nonhuman </li></ul><ul><li>Animal Relations (SOCY10015) </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture 2: Christianity and the nonhuman animal – </li></ul><ul><li>the narratives of dominion and stewardship in the </li></ul><ul><li>Word of God and the theology and theophilosophy of </li></ul><ul><li>Augustine and Aquinas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Jesus in Matthew 10:29-31) </li></ul></ul>Lecturer: NEIL McPHERSON Room: A820 Phone: x8479 Email: [email_address]
  2. 2. Neil McPherson The Old Testament – The Word of God Creation – God creates the Earth, Man, Animal & Plant “ the most important doctrine regarding the role & treatment of animals in relationship to human beings” (Yarri 2005: 108) Two narratives of Creation – Genesis i:1–ii:4 & ii:4–ii:25 The Fall – The Serpent and Eve - eating from the tree of good & evil The Flood – God cleanses the Earth After the Flood – the animal as food
  3. 3. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Creation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ the most important doctrine regarding the role & treatment of animals in relationship to human beings” (Yarri 2005: 108) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two narratives of Creation – Genesis i:1–ii:4 & ii:4–ii:25 </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Creation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them,…. and God said unto them, &quot;Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish in the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Genesis, i:27-28) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Creation </li></ul><ul><li>However, in the first Book of Genesis, there is nothing to suggest that Man is not vegetarian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which  is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which  is  the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein  there is  life,  I have given  every green herb for meat: and it was so. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis, i: 29-30) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Creation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought  them  unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that  was  the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis, ii:19-20) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ And Adam said, This  is  now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis, ii:23) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Genesis, ii:25) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Neil McPherson <ul><li>The Fall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis, iii:1-5) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Neil McPherson <ul><li>The Fall </li></ul><ul><li>Exposed and naked – the knowledge of good and evil </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest  to be  with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What  is  this  that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis, iii:11-13) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Neil McPherson <ul><li>The Fall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire  shall be  to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis, iii:14-16) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Neil McPherson <ul><li>The Flood </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis vi:12) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every  sort  shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep  them  alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every  sort  shall come unto thee, to keep  them  alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather  it  to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. ”   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis, vi:19-21) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that  are  not clean by two, the male and his female. ”   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis vii:2) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Neil McPherson <ul><li>After The Flood </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour… ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis viii:20-21) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Genesis ix:1-3) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Neil McPherson Importance of the narratives of Creation The importance and influence of the Creation narratives in the human conceptualisation of human/nonhuman animal relations Resistance to Pagan animism - subordination of nature to the human while retaining the linkage of woman and nature seen in paganism – ridiculing of animal worship Often regarded as the beginning of the Judaeo-Christian oppression of nonhuman animals
  13. 13. Neil McPherson Problems when considering the narratives of Creation Not the source of timeless ‘ truths ’ Interpretation – culturally and historically conditioned Various authors – differences in time & focus – contradictions & discrepancies Cannot be taken literally as Biblical command – malleable to perspective
  14. 14. Neil McPherson The pro-animal potential of the narratives of Creation Resource for engaging & interrogating moral concerns Symbolic consideration Can be mobilised in support of the disenfranchised Liberation theology (see Gutierrez 1971) - ‘ hermeneutic of suspicion ’ (see Yarri 2005) See, in particular, the work of Rev Dr Andrew Linzey
  15. 15. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Theology of Augustine and the nonhuman animal </li></ul><ul><li>St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [A genius who] who left his mark upon society and upon religious thought for a thousand years ” (Keeble, 1922: 41) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ ’ the one great philosopher springing form the soil of Christianity proper'' (Eucken, 1914: 153). </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Theology of Augustine and the nonhuman animal </li></ul><ul><li>De civitate Dei (City of God) (413-426) </li></ul><ul><li>Reaction to Manichean doctrine </li></ul><ul><li>Separation of Man and animal through discussion of reason and soul </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Thou shalt not kill ’ (Exodus, xx: 13) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It…obvious that a man is not allowed to kill himself, since the text 'Thou shalt not kill' has no addition and it must be taken that there is no exception, not even to the one to whom the command is addressed. ” (Augustine 1972: 31) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Theology of Augustine and the nonhuman animal </li></ul><ul><li>Location of the animal as ‘ living being ’ within a framework of living which includes plants but not humanity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ For although this part of creation is without feeling, it is called 'living', and is hence capable of dying…But do we for this reason infer from 'Thou shalt not kill' a divine prohibition against clearing away brushwood,…That would be madness ” . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Augustine 1972: 31) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thou shalt not kill the ‘ feeling ’ living. Lack of reason (influence of Aristotle). </li></ul>
  18. 18. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Theology of Augustine and the nonhuman animal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [W]hen we read ‘ You shall not kill ’ we assume that this does not refer to bushes, which have no feelings, nor to irrational creatures, flying, swimming, walking, or crawling.... ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Augustine 1972: 32) </li></ul><ul><li>Animals are merely irrational beasts possessed of mortal souls that disappear when they die and, therefore: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;by a most just ordinance of the Creator, both their life and their death are subject to [human] use. ” (Augustine 1972: 32) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The animal disappears in its divine biblical construction, is stripped of any protection in the Word of God, and is relocated within the theological constructions of a human interpretation of the divine – as tools for Man </li></ul>
  19. 19. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Theophilosophy of Aquinas and the nonhuman animal </li></ul><ul><li>St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) – viewed as one of the greatest Christian thinkers </li></ul><ul><li>Influence of Aristotle – faith and reason </li></ul><ul><li>God is prime agent – last end of the universe (Aquinas 1990) </li></ul><ul><li>Supports Augustine ’ s argument that only Man is rational </li></ul><ul><li>Nonhuman animals are merely instruments to be used for ends of Man </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ intellectual creatures are ruled by God as though He cared for them for their own sake, while other creatures are ruled as being directed to rational creatures ” (Aquinas, 1990: 7) </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Theophilosophy of Aquinas and the nonhuman animal </li></ul><ul><li>For Aquinas, any creature that does not control its own acts is a legitimate and ‘ natural ’ subject of slavery </li></ul><ul><li>Separation of reason and nonreason, comprehension and being, of reason and the corporeal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hereby is refuted the error of those who said it is sinful for a man to kill brute animals; for by the divine providence they are intended for man ’ s use according to the order of nature. Hence it is not wrong for man to make use of them, either by killing or in any other way whatever. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Aquinas, 1990: 10, my emphasis) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Man is identified as God ’ s representative on Earth, given a theophilisophically ordained right to subjugate nonhuman animals </li></ul>
  21. 21. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Theophilosophy of Aquinas and the nonhuman animal </li></ul><ul><li>Any abuse that is visited on a nonhuman animal is not reflective of a sin against the nonhuman animal itself but against its keeper: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ He that kills another ’ s ox, sins, not through killing the ox, but through injuring another man in his property ’ (Aquinas, 1990a: 103). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The killing of ‘ someone ’ s animal ’ is constructed not as an act of murder but as an act of theft or robbery </li></ul><ul><li>Following Aquinas, the nonhuman animal is not only as the subject of human dominion and but also as a being devoid of any form of intrinsic moral status </li></ul>
  22. 22. Neil McPherson <ul><li>Theophilosophy of Aquinas and the nonhuman animal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ There can be no friendship with irrational creatures ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Nevertheless we can love irrational creatures out of charity, if we regard them as the good things that we desire for others, in so far, to wit, as we wish for their preservation, to God ’ s honour and man ’ s use ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Aquinas 1990: 104) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>St Francis of Assis and the Franciscan Order </li></ul>
  23. 23. Neil McPherson Theophilosophy of Aquinas and the nonhuman animal The Great Chain of Being Benevolent or despotic dominion? Tyranny or stewardship? Nonhuman as referent to Man Anthropocentrism Renaissance reason - Buffon & Linnaeus
  24. 24. Neil McPherson Theophilosophy of Aquinas and the rational soul Aquinas, employing Aristotle ’ s dualist concept of body and soul, argued that corporeal body and immortal soul of the dead would be reunited through the process of resurrection. In the theophilosophical framework of Aquinas, the soul emerged as both rational and immortal, the site of what it was to be human. Any body mutilated in death would be returned to its full expression in resurrection through its reunification with its immortal soul, thereby opening the way for the religious acceptance of human dissection in order to reveal the wonder inscribed on the internal body by God (see Armstrong 1999). Renaissance dissection and vivisection
  25. 25. Neil McPherson <ul><li>The impact of Aquinas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>” This [Aquinas ’ s] theory of God as the primal mover or first cause beyond and above all causes was more or less the explanatory model dominating not only medieval theophilosophy but also the first attempt to secularize thought and to ground truth on human reason: the Cartesian cogito ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Kordela 2007: 27) </li></ul></ul>