Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)
Programs & Services
Get Involved
Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)
Programs & Services


Institution: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
Course Title: Animals and Religion
Instructor: Kimberley Patton, Harvard Divinity School, 617-496-3395
Summary: Focuses on the symbolism and ritual function of animals in human religious worlds. Using particular cultural histories as paradigms, considers themes such a cosmogony, hierarchy, magic, metamorphosis, antinomianism, prophecy, mimesis, hunting, sacrifice, and the role of fantastic creatures. Central to the course is the evaluation of developmentalist and other theoretical models and their impact on the history of religion. (This course is taught periodically. Please contact the instructor for scheduling.)

Institution: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47401
Course Title: Science, Religion, and the Environment
Instructor: Lisa Sideris, Department of Religious Studies, 812-330-1573
Summary: Examines arguments that hold scientific and religious world views responsible for our environmental crisis and the devaluation of nonhuman animal life. The structure of the course follows a thesis-antithesis-synthesis format. We start with a historical survey of Christian thinkers (Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Luther) up to and including modern Christian thinkers who have been criticized by environmentalists. We then cover scientific thinkers such as Bacon and Descartes, and modern physicists. The third section involves a reconsideration of the thesis that science and/or religion have been responsible for environmental problems and disregard for animals. We look at thinkers both in science and religion who have contributed positively to the human-nature relationship, both in the past and present.

Institutions: Tufts University (undergraduate students), Medford, MA 02155; and Episcopal Divinity School (graduate students), Cambridge, MA 01238
Course Title: Religion, Science, and Other Animals
Instructor: Paul Waldau, Center for Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Rd., North Grafton, MA 01536-1895, 508-887-4671
Summary: Focuses on how nonhuman animals have been seen in both religious and scientific circles. Prompts the student to ask a wide range of questions, including:
1. To what extent have religious traditions affected the ways in which contemporary scientists view and speak about animals other than humans?
2. In what ways do contemporary religious traditions now deal with new findings of various life sciences that are pertinent to an understanding of nonhuman animals?
Answers to these questions are explored in several ways, including an examination of whether the vocabularies and concepts used by those who practice both the physical and "softer" sciences when talking about animals outside the human species remain value-laden. The course also seeks clarification of the claims about other animals generally implicit and explicit in many religious traditions' writings and beliefs.

Lär dig om effekten av Sildenafil, dess pris och dosering av Viagra, du kan i onlineapoteket. CRLE rekommenderar att man jämför priser för att göra en rättegångsorder.

Status: This course recently won an award in an international competition sponsored by the Templeton Foundation for courses dealing with religion and science. It is also open to students at the other nine schools in the Boston Theological Institute.

Institution: University of Florida, Gainseville, FL 32611

Course Title: Religion and Animals

Instructor: Richard C. Foltz, Ph.D., 352-392-1625, Theology Department, 513-745-3026
Summary: Humans are animals, or are they? Most, though not all, religious traditions treat humans and animals as separate categories, with different systems of ethical and values applied to each. How cultures perceive the relationship between animals and humans affects choices about diet, understandings of our place in the world, an increasingly today, the ethics of scientific research.


Institution: Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH 45236

Course Title: Theology and Animals

Instructor: Elizabeth Farians, Theology Department, [email protected] , 513-884-8062

Summary: This course will center on Christianity, violence, and animals. It will explore the relationship between people and animals with violence as the focus. The course will examine the moral and ethical implications of the way animals are treated in our society, including the commercial, agricultural, pharmacological and entertainment industries. How this treatment is accepted, promoted and/or justified by both secular and religious society will be studied. Whether this treatment redounds to us in spiritual, psychological, and physical ways will be examined. The food we eat will be critical to this analysis because killing and eating animals is often our most intimate involvement with them.  We will also consider whether the patriarchal character of religion and society influences the treatment of animals and why especially women and children may be adversely affected. The possible connections between the violence we inflict on animals and a resulting violent behavior of humans will be explored. All of this will be in the context of the Judeo-Christian scriptures and tradition.
To offset the violence a program of humane education will be considered. Related scientific findings from disciplines such as psychology and sociology will be investigated. Insights for professions such as education, social work, ministry, criminal justice, nursing, science and law will be highlighted. The material alsi is aligned with peace studies and women's studies and it also will be useful for parenting and peaceful living. A religious basis for an alternate and compassionate lifestyle and a dominion of care, rather than domination, for all creation will be presented.

Course offering information: The course was originally taught in a summer workshop format entitled "Christianity, Violence and Animals." The new semester-long course "Theology and Animals" will be offered during the Spring 2006 semester.

CRLE | [email protected]