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When God Was a Bird – Christianity, Animism, and the Re-Enchantment of the World - Fordham Scholarship Online
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When God Was a Bird: Christianity, Animism, and the Re-Enchantment of the World

Mark I. Wallace


At one time, God was a bird. In ancient Egypt, Thoth was the Ibis-headed divinity of magic and wisdom. Winged divine beings—griffins and harpies—populated the pantheon of Greek antiquity, and Quetzalcoatl was the plumed serpent deity of the pre-Columbian Aztecs. It is said that in spite of—or better, to spite—this time-honored wealth of divine avifauna, Christianity divorced God from the avian world in order to defend a pure form of monotheism. This narrative, however, misses the startling scriptural portrayals of God as the beaked and feathered Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity who ... More

Keywords: animism, Augustine, Aztecs, Girard, God, Heidegger, Hildegard, Ibis, Muir

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780823281329
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823281329.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark I. Wallace, author
Swarthmore College