Thinking about Animals in Thirteenth-Century Paris: Theologians on the Boundary Between Humans and Animals

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

Abstract

This book explores what theologians at the University of Paris in the thirteenth century had to say about similarities and differences between humans and animals. The great variety of ways in which they held similarity and difference in productive tension is demonstrated by extended close reading of William of Auvergne, the Summa Halensis, Bonaventure, Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas. These scholars found it useful to consider the boundary between animals and humans, especially with regard to animal knowledge and behaviour, when discussing a wide range of issues, including creation, the fall, divine providence, the heavens, angels and demons, virtues and passions. While they frequently stressed that animals had been created for use by humans, and sometimes treated them as tools employed by God to shape human behaviour, animals were also analytical tools for the theologians themselves, which they used to generate knowledge of God and the whole of creation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages226
ISBN (Print)9781108830157
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2020

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