"Privation and Perversion: The Nature of Evil in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series" (2023)

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Rena Black

In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, forms of evil function in thoroughly Augustinian terms: evil is characterized as a privation and/or perversion of good. (Excerpt from honors thesis)

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A Biblical View of Animals: A Critical Response to the Theology of Andrew Linzey

Stephen M Vantassel

"Since Peter Singer's landmark work, Animal Liberation, was published in 1976, the issue of humanity's moral relationship to animals has become a hot topic. 1 Not surprisingly, Christians have begun to re-consider the issue of animal rights. 2 Christian Vegetarians, as they call themselves, have begun to proclaim their "humane" lifestyle as a logical extension of the redemption found in Christ. In light of the trends, I believe it is now necessary for the Church to investigate again what holy writ has to say about humanity's relationship to animals as it compares with so called "Christian Vegetarians and Christian Animal Rights Activists.""

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Evangelical Theological Society

A Biblical Assessment of Andrew Linzey's View of Animal Rights

2003 •

Stephen M Vantassel

Stephen M. Vantassel explores how Andrew Linzey's view of animal rights matches with the Biblical testimony. Vantassel explains that Dr. Linzey's position selects passages in an arbitrary and proof-texting manner thereby violating the original intent of the references. He also ignores passages that directly contradict his view resulting in a stilted and incomplete view of the Bible's theology on human-animal relations.

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Animals Matter to God: Rediscovering Creation Guardianship

Philip Johnson

There are contemporary Christians for whom the subject of animals is important on ethical and theological grounds, just as there have been in the past. As a small step towards generating further positive discussion, we present this essay, but we acknowledge that what we say here is very cursory. It is a preliminary foray only and does not pretend to be comprehensive or to deal with all the serious issues related to human relations with animals. Activists and jurists who have been concerned with animal issues have sought, in part, to redress some problems by arguing for legislation, or even animal rights covenants, based on the juridical concept of guardianship for humans. Although the concept of guardianship is not a new one, what is new is how it has recently been developed beyond its traditional application to children and incompetents and extended to animals. So part of this discussion will delve into the history of law related to guardianship, before analysing the views of the three proponents of a legal guardianship model for animals. Later in the paper, a fourth view, which fits within the ambit of the legal guardianship model, but is not confined merely to the law, will be presented as the most expansive and generous of the views blending juridical and theological insights. The critical methodology of this discussion seeks to integrate critical perceptions from theology, analytic philosophy and jurisprudence. The discussion shall briefly examine the fundamental dilemma of defining and justifying rights. It is argued, inter alia, that rights as properly understood as titles implies relationships, which in turn points the inquiry to the transcendent. Then it will be argued that contemporary moral theories and philosophies of jurisprudence that seek to promote the cause of animals are unable to ultimately justify the grounds for inalienable rights for animals. In line with the insights of contemporary analytic philosophy, this discussion then highlights the need for a transcendental perspective, in which a transcendent-immanent Creator supplies the needed title for inalienable rights. Finally, the discussion proceeds to examine the classical Christian doctrines of creation, redemption and eschatology that provide the essential fulcrum for the theoretical content and praxis of inalienable rights for animals, especially the recovery of creation guardianship.

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Reviews in Religion & Theology

The New Testament and Jewish Law: A Guide for the Perplexed – –By James G. Crossley

2012 •

Stefan Bosman

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Thomas Aquinas’s Eco-Theological Ethics of Anthropocentric Conservation

Ryan Patrick McLaughlin

This essay explores the much-debated question regarding the extent and viability of Thomas Aquinas as a theological source for expanding Christian ethical concern for the nonhuman creation, particularly nonhuman animals. This exploration focuses on the intersection of two foundational issues in Aquinas’ theological framework, nature and teleology, as well as the effects of this intersection in Aquinas’ work concerning nonhuman creation. From these examinations, I suggest that Aquinas can provide significant contributions for augmenting concern for the welfare of nonhuman animals because his theological framework demands that humans preserve the natural order through conservation. However, Aquinas’ ecotheological ethics of conservation is foundationally anthropocentric and only permits indirect moral concern for the nonhuman world.

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Evidencing the Eschaton: Progressive-Transformative Animal Welfare in the Church Fathers

Ryan Patrick McLaughlin

The author aims to retrieve and develop creatively a strand of Christian thought, stretching from early Christian interpretations of biblical data through the hagiographies of the saints into modern Christian thought, which provides a foundation for concern over the welfare of nonhuman animals. To provide the framework for this strand, the author explores the theology of Irenaeus of Lyons and Ephrem the Syrian. First, he considers their positions regarding the place of nonhuman animals in protology and eschatology. Then, he notes their view that the created order is in via toward its eschatological consummation. With this framework in place, he turns to other voices in the Christian tradition, including the hagiographies of the saints, in order to further develop the framework. Ultimately, the author suggests that, within this particular strand of Christian thought, the further a human being progresses along the path of redemption, the more he or she ought to serve as a prolepsis of eschatological hope, which includes peaceful relationships between humans and animals.

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The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture: Toward …

Rap Music as Prophetic Utterance

2011 •

Cynthia Belt

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Union Seminary Quarterly Review

Denaturing Nature

Christiana Zenner

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“Vegetarian as Evangelism,” Presented to the Boston Theological Institute [BTI], 2010 Boston Changing Contours of World Mission and Christianity, November 2010.

Cristina Richie

Among the major world religions, followers of Christ are the only ones who are at liberty to consume any food they desire. In contrast, Buddhists follows the principle of non-violence, and will not slaughter an animal. Jews and Muslims abstain from certain meats like pork, which are “unclean”. Hindus do not harm their sacred cows. Christianity is the only major world religion that does not have prescribed dietary regulations. Disregarding the cultural mores and sensibilities of other religions in this aspect of food consumption is a huge stumbling block for non-Christians to overcome. This paper overviews the rational behind aspects of vegetarianism in other religions, surveys the Biblical theology of abstaining from certain foods in Christianity, details true examples of missionaries who have or have not modified their eating habits to reach to those in need, and finally encourages a serious reconsideration for those missionaries- at home and abroad- who desire “people from all nations” to come to Christ.

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Theology Today

1992 •

John R Berkman

In light of the scriptural witness that humans and other animals share in the ultimate end, which God's peaceable kingdom, we thus believe that each and every creature is created to manifest God's glory. We argue that animals will not manifest God's glory insofar as their lives are measured in terms of human interests, but only insofar as their lives serve God's good pleasure. Similarly, humans manifest God's glory when we learn to see animals as God sees animals, recognizing that animals exist not to serve us, but rather for God's good pleasure. Our task is to try to show what difference it makes when one strives to discuss the relation between humans and other animals in a way that seeks to do justice to the integrity of theological discourse.

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