Humans and Other Animals: Multifaith Responses to the Significance and Symbolism of Animals in Science and Religion Dialogue

August 31, 2023 - September 2, 2023
Science and Religion Forum

Westminster College, Cambridge
United Kingdom

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This event is available both online and in-person



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  • Deadline for RESIDENTIAL conference registration MIDNIGHT 10th August 2023
  • Deadline for NON-RESIDENTIAL conference registration 17th August 2023

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The animal and religions dialogue has been growing over the last 25 years, the aim of this conference is to bring this broadening area of scholarship to dialogue with the science-religion arena through two broad strands:

Strand 1: Perhaps viewed as the most prevalent interaction of science, religion and human-animal interactions, this strand focuses on ethical and environmental issues raised by anthropocentric views of the relationship. Thus includes but is not limited to matters of ecology, stewardship, and animal ethics (broadly construed and may relate to matters of urbanisation and conservation as well as animal-human relations).

Strand 2: The second strand recognises the broader implications of scientific and interdisciplinary approaches to non-human animals on wider areas of theological enquiry. This strand examines the new perspectives that can be bought to the science-religion conversation through critical engagement with “the animal” adding further depth, theory, or methodology to our theological discussion. This includes bestiaries, mythology, and fables, the relationship(s) between humans and animals, Incarnation and embodiment, Ritual / proto-religious behaviour in animals and textual and ritual meanings of animal bodies.

Strand 3 : OPEN CALL - papers relating to any area of SCIENCE AND RELIGION dialogue - (preference given to those addressing matters related to creation, identity, and biological sciences).

Keynote Speakers and Titles

Thursday 31st August

  • Opening Keynote by SRF Vice President Dr Celia Deane-Drummond: We See in a Glass Darkly: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Virtue and Vice Beyond the Species Boundary
  • The Gowland Public Lecture 2023 by Dr Suzanna Millar (responder: Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg) From larvae to Leviathan: Living with animals in the book of Job

Friday 1st September

  • Dr Margaret B. Adam: Should Commodities Flourish? Farmed Animals, Christian Ethics, and Veterinary Behavioural Science
  • Dr Alexander Hall: Explorations of the non-human in global histories of evolution and religion
  • Dr Peter Altmann: Learning from the Crows: Worship and Wisdom with the Birds in the Hebrew Bible
  • Conference Dinner with Speaker: Revd Canon Dr Vicky Johnson, Canon Precentor York Minster

Saturday 2nd September

  • Dr Louis Caruana SJ: Future togetherness: drawing inspiration from Teilhard de Chardin
  • Dr Anne Solomon: Animals and Ancient Religion: What Can Prehistoric Art Tell Us?

Day Tickets for the 31st August and Non-residential Tickets include a meal ahead of the Public Gowland Lecture.
The cost for the Informal Conference Dinner on 1st includes a welcome drink of sparkling wine and half bottle of wine per person.
A paying bar is available in the college 6pm-9pm on the 31st and 1st. 

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August 17, 2023, 9:00am BST

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Canterbury Christ Church University

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#Science and Religion, #Theology, #Philosophy of Religion, #Animals