Public Theology and the Anthropocene: Exploring Human-Animal Relations

Eva van Urk-Coster*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Given that the current ecological crises are largely human-caused, it is an issue of public concern to promote views which appreciate non-human animals (and creation at large) as inherently and independently valuable, and which stimulate efforts to reverse trends towards mass extinction. This article examines how theologians may critically explore the Bible’s relevance in the Anthropocene. It will show that theology can both critically incorporate new attitudes towards non-human animals, as well as dig into its own reservoirs, like biblical stories for the sake of an appropriate response. Such ‘digging’ needs to consist of a willingness both to discover and actualize a biblical ecological wisdom and to unmask possible anthropocentric tendencies. It is assumed that theology will continue to prove itself to be an indispensable conversation partner in public spheres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-223
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Public Theology
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Anthropocene
  • Anthropocentrism
  • Bible
  • Non-human animals
  • Public theology


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