What religions believe that animals have souls

What do the Bible, Torah and Koran say about cats and dogs? : Pet in God's name


Martin Luther had a pet, a little spitz that he called "booby". He liked him a lot. However, this did not prevent the reformer from ultimately seeing soulless creatures in animals. The dog may have “everything in terms of physical things in this world”, he is said to have said in a speech about his dog, for example “fresh eyes, strong legs and a good stomach”, but he has nothing for eternal life. The rational man capable of believing in God stood for him far above the animal. Luther and his contemporaries agreed on this. And so many Christians before him thought.

For hundreds of years, Christian people have valued themselves as the “crown of creation”. This has to do with the biblical account of creation, which was written about 2500 years ago and in which it says: “God blessed man and woman and said to them: Be fruitful and multiply, populate the earth, submit to it and rule over them Fish of the sea, of the birds of the sky and of all animals that move on the land. "

Dualism between man and nature

The Judeo-Christian thought was combined with Greek philosophy, which was shaped by dualism: here the human soul destined for eternal life, there the ephemeral, soulless nature. From then on, animals and plants were devalued to inanimate nature. In himself, too, the Christian had to fight against the animalistic, the instinctual, which harm the “pious soul”. Christian painters and sculptors gave the devil animal grimaces, tails and claws. The serpent remained the symbol of sin.

Of course, there were always exceptions like St. Francis of Assisi, but only for about a hundred years has it dawned on Christians that they may have misunderstood something fundamentally in relation to their "fellow creatures": that the call to submit to the earth, should not mean destroying it and harassing everything that stirs up on it and exploiting it for one's own purposes.

"Animals are creatures of God and are subject to his providential providence," says the Catechism of the Catholic Church today. The Bible also paints a harmonious picture of humans and animals in many places. One now thinks about that again. Animals cannot be missing in paradise, and ox and donkey are an integral part of the Nativity scene in Bethlehem.

Church services for humans and animals

The "preservation of creation" has been one of the core demands of Church and Catholic Days since the 70s and 80s, it has become common for pastors and bishops to stand up for the protection of the environment and the preservation of biodiversity and fight against factory farming. With the addition that animals can be used “for food and for making clothes”, since God has placed animals under the rule of man. Radical Christians go one step further; they understand the preservation of creation to be vegan.

Occasionally, parishes invite you to “worship services for humans and animals”, where dogs and cats are welcome. Here it is sometimes shown that love can also be excessive. If dogs or cats are idolized as substitutes for mothers or children, that has nothing to do with the preservation of the creature of the animal.

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