A turn to the animal is underway in the humanities, most obviously in such fields as philosophy, literary studies, cultural studies, and religious studies. One important catalyst for this development has been the remarkable body of animal theory issuing from such thinkers as Jacques Derrida and Donna Haraway. What might the resulting interdisciplinary field, commonly termed animality studies, mean for theology, biblical studies, and other cognate disciplines? Is it possible to move from animal theory to creaturely theology? This volume is the first full-length attempt to grapple centrally with these questions. It attempts to triangulate philosophical and theoretical reflections on animality and humanity with theological reflections on divinity. If the animal human distinction is being rethought and retheorized as never before, then the animal human divine distinctions need to be rethought, retheorized, and retheologized along with it. This is the task that the multidisciplinary team of theologians, biblical scholars, philosophers, and historians assembled in this volume collectively undertakes. They do so frequently with recourse to Derrida's animal philosophy and also with recourse to an eclectic range of other relevant thinkers, such as Haraway, Giorgio Agamben, Emmanuel Levinas, Gloria Anzaldua, Helene Cixous, A. N. Whitehead, and Lynn White Jr. The result is a volume that will be essential reading for religious studies audiences interested in ecological issues, animality studies, and posthumanism, as well as for animality studies audiences interested in how constructions of the divine have informed constructions of the nonhuman animal through history.
Creaturely and Other EssaysDevin Johnston
In compact and vivid prose, Devin Johnston’s Creaturely makes forays across the border between humans and animals, seeking out intersections between culture and nature. These eight essays describe encounters with creatures common to our city parks and empty lots: dogs, crows, starlings, squirrels, mice, and owls. In each case, Johnston explores the sensory experience of his subject; with each patient observation, he edges closer to an alien consciousness.
- “Creaturely, like its subject, eludes definition. It's a book of exquisite essays – or are they prose poems – that tesselate into something larger: a meditation, perhaps, or a vision. Johnston's subject is at once the absolute otherness of the creatures with whom we share the world's everyday spaces – dogs, owls, mice, squirrels, crows – and the worth of our attempts to come to know them. As he puts it, these are creatures that "alight in the vicinity of meaning and move on." Modest, calm, and beautiful in its movements of thought as much as in its turn of phrase, this is an exceptional book and one I felt lucky to have read.” — Robert Macfarlane
Price: $16.00 Paperback | $16.99 e-book
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-933527-34-5