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      Animal Liberation and the Bible : Christianity and the Question of “Speciesism” 

      Concluding Thoughts

      Peter Lang

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          There are two paths within the animal liberation movement, an atheistic one led by Richard Ryder and Peter Singer and one associated with Christianity led by Andrew Linzey, David Clough and others. Despite these divergent starting points, these thinkers converge in seeing animal pain, suffering in common parlance, as “the great cross-species leveler.” The negative of pain for all creatures needs to be overcome by the positive of equality of consideration, if not treatment, for all, regardless of species. This involves a utopian vision, in the case of atheists like Ryder and Singer, and a messianic vision, in the case of Linzey, Clough, and those animal liberationists associated with Christianity and other forms of religion. Thus, while Ryder, for instance, says, “we shall await the coming of the Golden Age when all suffering animals, together with human animals, are treated with equal respect,” Linzey, Clough and others associated with Christianity envision a new creation of non-violence and no predation resulting from the cosmic significance of the incarnation of a suffering God with his creation and the redemption of all things. Both are visions of hope, struggles against what is in the hope of what might be, praxis based on a belief in either the rights of or moral consideration due to all sentient creatures.

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