n Neotestamentica - The Logos as “flesh” in John 1:14 and 6:51–57 : formulating a Christology for the liberation of animals from humanarchy

Volume 53 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0254-8356
  • E-ISSN: 2518-4628


Animal theology or animal liberation is a recent initiative led by Andrew Linzey (1986). It emerged from the Liberation Movement pioneered by Gustav Gutiérrez in 1971. The wider field to which animal liberation belongs, namely eco-theology, was soon anchored in the feminist movement, as eco-feminists drew parallels between the exploitation of the environment and the oppression and abuse of the marginalised. The Old Testament and the New Testament are ambivalent about the position and circumstances of animals and their associations with humans. The language is mostly anthropocentric, with a few eco-centric voices. According to John’s Gospel, the transcendent God became the immanent Jesus, who became physically and bodily embedded in life on Earth. This emphasises his interconnectedness with the Earth and the common origin of all beings. One crucial question in this regard is whether the redemptive act of Jesus also includes animals, since it is claimed by the “instrumentalist view” that animals have no immortal souls. Applying a critical approach to the God-human-animal relation, the outcome of this article will be the formulation of a Christology for the liberation of animals, undermining humanarchy over animals. Although the focus is on animals, animals cannot be separated from the entire ecological environment.

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