Reverend Dr. Andrew Linzey’s Gospel for Every Creature
I’ve always been a believer in a God of love and mercy and although I don’t attend a church, I do feel close to a loving God, a Power that cares for each and every part of creation.
It’s always been a mystery to me as to why most religions seem to relegate animals other than man to a position of such inferiority that they are scarcely considered.
When I heard of a remarkable man by the name of Andrew Linzey, I felt that I had at last found a man who spoke of a God who actually cared for all his creatures, each and every one.
Reverend Linzey is a British Anglican priest, theologian, author, and prominent figure in the Christian vegetarian movement and a member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford where he held the world’s first academic post in Ethics, Theology and Animal Welfare.
Linzey is the founder and director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, an independent academic center opened in November 2006 to promote the study and discussion of animal ethics.
He’s the author of a number of books on animal rights, including Animal Rights: A Christian Perspective (1976), Christianity and the Rights of Animals (1987), Animal Theology (1994), and Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology, and Practical Ethics (2009).
He is also the editor of an academic journal, the Journal of Animal Ethics, which is published jointly by the Oxford Centre and the University of Illinois.
Among his many quotes:
“Animals are God’s creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God’s sight. … Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God’s absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering.”
“Christians haven’t got much further than thinking that the whole world was made for us, with the result that animals are only seen in an instrumental way as objects, machines, tools, and commodities, rather than fellow creatures.”
“It cannot be stressed enough that the picture of God exclusively concerned with human salvation and indifferent to the suffering of the non-human creation has become a source of moral despair. If Christians today care so little for animals, it is because the God they seem to believe in cares even less. For myself, I believe that if God is good and just and holy, it must follow that there will be redemption for each and every creature that suffers. Nothing less than that would make God a truly just God.”
I couldn’t agree more.