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Confessions: Book V – Chapters 1 – 7

Uyghur Manichaean clergymen

Uyghur Manichaean clergymen, wall painting from the Khocho ruins, 10th/11th century AD. Located in the Museum für Indische Kunst, Berlin-Dahlem.

 

Book V follows the young Augustine (he was around 29 years old at this time) from Carthage (where he finds his students too rowdy for his liking) to Rome (where he finds them too corrupt) and on to Milan, where he will remain until his conversion.

He spends most of the first half of this book recounting his encounter with Faustus, a Manichee luminary.

Please write on one of the following topics:

 

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Do Animals Believe in God? Animal Spirituality

 

The Entry of the Animals into Noah’s Ark (1613) Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625)

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
 Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.”

– Job 12: 7 – 10

 

 

Came across a brief yet interesting article about the possibility of animals having a religion or a sense of God or the divine.

 

Although this might be highly speculative, I do not find it would be surprising at all if some animals had some rudimentary form of religion.  Also, I have no problems at all with God communicating with animals in ways that only they can understand but we cannot.  Just as animals cannot understand our ways of spirituality, it might just well be the case that we cannot understand their specific ways of worshiping God.

 

If it is proven that animals have a true sense of the divine (a sensus divinitatis), what would that mean for human spirituality and religion?

 

How would our ideas and theologies about God, creation, and our (human beings’) place in the universe change in light of this?  How would we treat animals – particularly those that we eat as food – in light of this?  Would it make a difference?  How would it impact the theories of how religion came about in mankind or in general?

 

I haven’t seen much writing or studies on animal spirituality or religiosity, but I’m intrigued to find out more about it.

 

Abstract on Do Animals Have Religion? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Religion and Embodiment”.