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DivinanimalityAnimal Theory, Creaturely Theology$
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Stephen Moore

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263196

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263196.001.0001

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And Say the Animal Really Responded:

And Say the Animal Really Responded:

Speaking Animals in the History of Christianity

Chapter:
(p.210) And Say the Animal Really Responded
Source:
Divinanimality
Author(s):

Laura Hobgood-Oster

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823263196.003.0014

Laura Hobgood-Oster's essay contests the assumption, embedded in Christian theology and western philosophy, that words position humans as superior to animals. A corrective to that assumption is provided by sacred stories of speaking animals—stags, asses, dogs, lions…—who break into the closed human circle of the word. They demonstrate an animal connection to the divine that has no need of human intermediaries. When such animals speak, divine-animal-human voices merge in a moment of what Jacques Derrida might call divinanimality. Yet Hobgood-Oster also take Derrida to task, following Donna Haraway, for not being curious about what his cat was communicating to him, in contrast to the apostles Peter and Paul in the speaking animal tales in which they feature.

Keywords:   Animality studies, Animal speech, Jacques Derrida, Donna Haraway

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