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Human Relationship With Animals Reading the Book of Tobit in the Light of Christian Tradition

Gianfranco Nicora, Alma Massaro

Abstract


In this paper we argue that the Book of Tobit, by presenting a new model of companionship between a human being and a dog, constitutes a vision of a future era, where humans and animals will live as fellows rather than rivals. In so doing we focus on the reading of the Holy Scriptures placing emphasis on the role of animals, moving from the Book of Tobit through the book of Genesis, to Jesus’ new alliance and the promise of new heavens and a new earth. We also show that the Book of Tobit, even if it is deeply encouched in the anthropocentric view particular to Jewish culture, includes insights of non-violence toward animals as well as vegetarianism that are both fundamental and prophetic aspects of the new ethic suggested by Isaiah’s prophecies and by the good news announced in the New Testament.


Keywords


Animal theology; Scripture; book of nature; Christocentrism; theocentrism; anthropocentrism; eco-theology; covenant; ethics of respect; animal ethics.

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References


De Benedetti, Paolo. 1999. E l’asina disse... L’uomo e gli animali secondo la sapienza di Israele. Magnano (Bi): Qiqajon.

—. 2009. Il Filo d’erba. Verso una teologia delle creatura a partire da una novella di Pirandello. Brescia: Morcelliana.

Mancuso, Vito. 2007. L’anima e il suo destino. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Valsecchi, Ambrogio. 1973. Nuove vie dell’etica sessuale. Brescia: Queriniana.

Weil, Simon. 2003. The Need for Roots. Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Towards Mankind. London: Routledge Classics.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2013-002-mass






Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196


Executive Editor: Francesco Allegri
Associate Editor: Matteo Andreozzi 
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Rod Bennison - Matthew R. Calarco - Piergiorgio Donatelli - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Alma Massaro - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Simone Pollo - Paola Sobbrio - Kim Stallwood - Sabrina Tonutti - Jessica Ullrich - Federico Zuolo