Andrew Linzey (b 1952)
This page is an extract taken from Animal Preacher
Widely considered an authority on Christianity and animals, Andrew Linzey (b 1952) has been preaching and writing about Christianity and animal rights since the 1970's. Linzey is a British Anglican priest, theologian, academic and a champion for animal rights within Christianity, whose vocation is to change Christian attitudes to animals for the better. Linzey says (1):
"Anglicans, like most Christians, haven't really woken up to the moral issue of our exploitation of animals."
"All the stuff about animals not having language, not having rational souls, not having culture, not being persons - all of these are human constructions."
"In God's eyes, all creatures have value whether we find them cuddly, affectionate, beautiful or otherwise."
Linzey is distinguished for his accomplishments relating to theology and animals. At Oxford University he held the world's first fellowship in Ethics, Theology and Animal Welfare, which was the first university position to unite ethics, religion and animals. In 2001 the Archbishop of Canterbury presented him with an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, the highest distinction he could make to a theologian. The distinction was granted with particular reference to Linzey's work on the rights and welfare of 'God's sentient creatures' and is the first time it has been conferred for work embracing Christianity and animals. Linzey says:
"Animals make a special moral claim upon us because, interalia, they are morally innocent, unable to give or withhold their consent, or vocalise their needs, and because they are wholly vulnerable to human exploitation. These considerations make the infliction of suffering upon them not easier - but harder to justify." (2)
(1) Linzey, Andrew. Christianity and Animals
. Rynn Berry interviews. 1996. www.satyamag.com. (Accessed May 2006.)
(2) Linzey, Andrew. The Ethical Case Against Fur Farming. A statement by an international group of academics, including ethicists, philosophers and theologians
. (Accessed online May 2006 at Respect for Animals and other web sites.)
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