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Inner AnimalitiesTheology and the End of the Human$
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Eric Daryl Meyer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280148

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280148.001.0001

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Animality and Identity: Human Nature and the Image of God

Animality and Identity: Human Nature and the Image of God

Chapter:
(p.89) 4 Animality and Identity: Human Nature and the Image of God
Source:
Inner Animalities
Author(s):

Eric Daryl Meyer

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823280148.003.0005

This chapter works to refigure humanity’s place in creation, shifting from accounts centered in the imago dei that inculcate a sovereign anthropological exceptionalism and toward an account in which human beings find themselves personally and spiritually constituted by relations with nonhuman creatures. To that end, the chapter balances conventional emphasis on Genesis 1 with a reading of Nebuchadnezzar’s character arc in the book of Daniel, which configures sovereignty and human uniqueness in a very different way. Moving to the New Testament Gospels, the chapter suggests that one’s identity in the Realm of God is always determined from the perspective of the oppressed. Following this insight through, the chapter imagines who human beings might be in the eyes of various nonhuman neighbors, from pets to animals confined in factory farms.

Keywords:   Agamben, Giorgio, Book of Daniel, Deleuze, Gilles, Derrida, Jacques, Guattari, Felix, Image of God/Imago dei, Nebuchadnezzar, Political Theology, Theological Anthropology

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