Divinanimality : animal theory, creaturely theology by Stephen Moore, Laurel Kearns

By Stephen Moore, Laurel Kearns

A flip to the animal is underway within the humanities, most manifestly in such fields as philosophy, literary reports, cultural experiences, and spiritual reports. One vital catalyst for this improvement has been the extraordinary physique of animal thought issuing from such thinkers as Jacques Derrida and Donna Haraway. What may the ensuing interdisciplinary box, normally termed animality experiences, suggest for theology, bible study, and different cognate disciplines? Is it attainable to maneuver from animal conception to creaturely theology?

This quantity is the 1st full-length try to grapple centrally with those questions. It makes an attempt to triangulate philosophical and theoretical reflections on animality and humanity with theological reflections on divinity. If the animal human contrast is being rethought and retheorized as by no means sooner than, then the animal human divine differences must be rethought, retheorized, and retheologized in addition to it. this is often the duty that the multidisciplinary crew of theologians, biblical students, philosophers, and historians assembled during this quantity jointly undertakes. They achieve this often with recourse to Derrida's animal philosophy and likewise with recourse to an eclectic diversity of different appropriate thinkers, corresponding to Haraway, Giorgio Agamben, Emmanuel Levinas, Gloria Anzaldua, Helene Cixous, A. N. Whitehead, and Lynn White Jr.

The result's a quantity that may be crucial analyzing for spiritual reports audiences attracted to ecological concerns, animality stories, and posthumanism, in addition to for animality reviews audiences attracted to how structures of the divine have knowledgeable structures of the nonhuman animal via historical past

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Yet to implicitly claim pure being or pure goodness by using the discourse of the “as such” of these qualities as being intrinsic to the human versus the animot is an imposition of a chimerical standard, like using a yardstick to beat so-called belligerent children. It is to flail out at myriad beings as the expression of a suppressed self-flagellation in punishment for our impure earthiness. On some level, humans know this a hollow self-attribution. This ongoing discourse of “the good” (as such) or “the holy” (as such) seems rather petulant behavior for the “rational animal,” or, as Derrida would say, a bêtise.

Moore’s “Ecotherology” begins by reading Derrida’s The Beast and the Sovereign together with The Animal That Therefore I Am as commentary on Revelation’s theological bestiary: its Beast, its beastlike God, its animal Christ. Moore then considers the interspecies intimacy of the Lamb and its Bride, and ponders the Bride’s transformation into a heavenly megalopolis that is a continent-sized shopping mall with a single stream and a token tree. Throughout, Moore attempts to relate what Revelation has to say about nonhuman animals—and category-crossing creatures that are neither human, animal, nor divine—to the plight of nonhuman animals in our apocalyptically theriocidal world.

Erickson’s “The Apophatic Animal: Toward a Negative Zootheological Imago Dei” picks up Derrida’s passing reference to “a negative zootheology” and runs with it. At issue, for Erickson, is the traditional theological insistence on treating human beings as the privileged revelation of the divine (“created in the image of God”). Erickson contests this human exceptionalism by proposing a negative zootheology that does not cordon off nonhuman animality in order to image the divine. ” The Spirit becomes a wild immanence in creaturely life, and God becomes a creaturely imaging of the “divine wilderness” of the Spirit.

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