The Bible According to Noah: Theology As If Animals Mattered |
by Gary Kowalski (Author)
From Publishers Weekly
Although pets.com has buried its last bone, Americans are still as wild as ever
about their four-legged furry friends. Several forthcoming titles explore the
relationship between spirituality and animals. The Bible According to Noah:
Theology As if Animals Mattered takes this potentially fluffy topic to new
depths of intellectual inquiry, examining the role of animals in biblical texts
and, by extension, contemporary culture. Arguing that "a new appreciation of
animals is desperately needed" to rescue Western society from its own
antienvironmentalism, Gary Kowalski offers new renditions of familiar biblical
stories: God tells humans to "love the earth and preserve it" instead of
dominate it; Abraham cannot, in the end, sacrifice an animal; Jonah is rescued
by a dolphin and not swallowed by a whale.
From Library Journal
Although Unitarian minister Kowalski is both vegetarian and antivivisectionist,
his newest book is not about deriving support for these ethical teachings from
Judeo-Christian scripture. Rather, this is a series of personal meditations on
some of the more prominent events in the Hebrew Bible, considering how they
relate to our treatment of animals. In the first chapter, Kowalski meditates on
the creation narratives of Genesis and touches on our stewardship of the earth.
He points out how like us the animals are, as they sing and dance and love as we
do. Kowalski continues with chapters on the story of Noah's Ark, the
near-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, the suffering of Job and his restoration,
and, finally, the story of Jonah. Occasionally saccharine and often
idiosyncratic in scriptural interpretation, these meditations are nonetheless
always intelligent and frequently moving. Recommended especially for public
libraries for its appeal to both students and casual readers. Religious
Vegetarianism, on the other hand, is entirely about the justification of
vegetarianism through the doctrines of several major religious traditions.
Religious historian Walters (Benjamin Franklin and His Gods, LJ 1/90) and
Portmess (philosophy, Gettysburg Coll.) divide the book into sections on the
Orphic-Pythagorean tradition, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and
Islam. Each section contains a brief introduction and several sample writings.
This structure necessarily renders the book uneven in style, and it is best used
by beginning scholars as a basic sourcebook. For academic libraries and public
libraries with substantial collections in religion or ethics.
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Lantern Books (March 2001)