In the last forty years ethical issues around the care and treatment of non-human animals has steadily grown as a concern in theology. While for much of this time it was considered at best a "marginal" issue, it is now one of the major concerns in environmental ethics. This course will examine the major figures in the development of "animal theology" in Protestant and Catholic theology. It will also look back to Christian Scripture and classical figures in the Christian tradition, and raise questions as to whether, and if so to what extent, the development of "animal theology" is either a departure from Christian tradition and/or a development within it. Issues in the course will include issues such as intensive agriculture (factory farming), the genetic modification of animals, zoos, pets, vegetarianism and veganism, and a variety of other issues that arise from human interaction with or concern for the well-being of non-human animals.
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Hours per Week: