Examining the faith response to the place of animals in society.
The history of human-animal interactions in the West has largely been defined by the religious approach to the status of animals - an approach which is heavily instrumentalist and yet one from which the humane movement developed. Non-Western religious approaches tend to be more wholistic. The panel could look at a) the contradictions inherent in the Abrahamic faiths in the views of their sacred scriptures and in certain aspects of their tradition, namely viewing animals as 'God's creatures', and yet treating them as if they were inanimate, and b) human-animal relations in non-Western and animistic idealogies/cosmologies/religions.
Johannes Merz (SIL International)
Saskia Dijk (University of Kent)