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The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible [Paperback]

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Item Number 420274  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2002
Publisher   Lantern Books
ISBN  1590560094  
EAN  9781590560099  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Many commentators and users of the Bible have, over the centuries and up to the present day, used the Bible to argue that animals have no rights, that they were put on this earth for our use, and that we have no obligations to them.

In his cogent, honest, and fully researched and referenced work, The Dominion of Love, Norm Phelps attempts to encourage all who revere the Bible as holy scripture to open their hearts to the suffering that we inflict upon our nonhuman neighbors. He shows that the right of animals not to be imprisoned, tortured, and killed for our benefit flows naturally from the Bible's message of love and compassion and argues that this is the message of the Bible's most important passages dealing with our relationship to animals. He further responds to the defenses of animal exploitation that are often made based on the Bible.

Beautifully written, The Dominion of Love is an essential addition to a growing body of literature that argues for a compassionate and non-exploitative reading of Holy Scripture.

Buy The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible by Norm Phelps from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781590560099 & 1590560094

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More About Norm Phelps

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Norm Phelps is the former spiritual outreach director of The Fund for Animals, as well as a founding member of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV) and a contributing writer for Satya. His goal is for faith communities of all traditions to include animals within the scope of their compassionate ministries.

Norm Phelps currently resides in Funkstown, in the state of Maryland.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Reference   [3446  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Science > Nature & Ecology > Animal Rights   [107  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Even as a Hen Gathers Her Chicks Under Her Wings  Feb 16, 2006
The Dominion of Love:
Animal Rights According to the Bible

By Norm Phelps
Lantern Books

Review by Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns

Is there any basis for animal rights in the Bible? In The Dominion of Love, Norm Phelps, the spiritual outreach director of The Fund for Animals, responds with this question: is there any basis in Hebrew and Christian scripture for human rights? His answer is yes and no. The concept of "human rights" does not actually appear in the Western religious tradition. Human Rights is a product of 18th century Enlightenment philosophy, an idea that to this day is rejected by many governments throughout the world. Rights is an "implementing mechanism," says Phelps, created to enforce the ethical teachings of love and compassion expressed by the Golden Rule-teachings that "individual conscience" has failed to implement. Now in the West, he says, we are living in the early years of an Enlightenment for the Animals. Where does the Bible fit in?

Our culture is imbued with its teachings, everything from an eye for an eye to love your enemies to love your neighbor as yourself. Phelps focuses on the concept of loving your neighbor to urge that we enlarge our understanding of who our neighbor is to include our nonhuman animal brothers and sisters. Even if the Bible does not explicitly include chickens and cows in the ancient notion of one's neighbor, there is enough in the substance of biblical teachings and scattered passages to invite such a reading and the implementation of this reading into our daily lives and protective laws. Does not Matthew 23:37 cite the mother hen as an example of protective love where it says "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings"?

Does the Bible support animal sacrifice and meateating? Yes in some parts, and with equal relish, here and there, it supports human slavery, rape, ethnic cleansing and other barbarisms we no longer countenance. "When we read in the Bible stories of God commanding or condoning the killing of animals," says Phelps, "we should remember these tales of barbarities that God is accused of ordering against human beings. . . . Why should Biblical verses that show divine approval of animal abuse set an everlasting precedent while passages showing divine approval of the murder of men, women, and children do not?"

Phelps concedes that his approach to the Bible involves picking and choosing-to an extent. But he legitimately argues that he is picking and choosing biblical passages that support the Bible's fundamental ethical call to love God, love Creation, love your Neighbor, and Be Merciful. A stumbling block is what he calls the "aristocracy theory" of creation, the idea that "man" alone is made in the image of God and is thus entitled to "reduce the rest of the earth's population to serfdom."

But even if one nurses an exalted view of humankind, to whom an All Powerful has ironically granted a host of "concessions," it doesn't follow that post-Flood morality need be one's own endpoint on Earth and a license for savagery. Rather, says Phelps, if we love creation, "we will nurture it, comfort it, care for it." The "dominion" he sees as alone hopeful consists in a conscious decision "to love God concretely by protecting and nurturing" all of our neighbors. If Judaism and Christianity do not encourage spiritual growth and a widening of human moral sympathies and obligations beyond the obscurations of history and self-centeredness, including animals "in the fullest unfolding of morality," what good do they bring?

The Dominion of Love includes valuable Appendices that identify specific biblical verses relating to the Human Treatment of Animals arranged under convenient subheadings, and Suggestions for Further Reading. These likewise are subdivided for easy follow-up together with a bibliography and highlight of books of related interest from Lantern Books.

Review by Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns (
Finally a good book about animal rights and the Bible  Aug 6, 2005
This book explained what I had always thought and felt but not heard in the churches or religion class. It explained in solid descriptions that compassion and love are rooted in the the Scriptures - and that is what vegetarians/vegans practice. It created common ground explaining that vegetarianism/veganism is based on teachings in the Bible. It was very easy to read - clear and concise.
Sophisticated yet accesible  Feb 12, 2005
The "according to the Bible" in the subtitle made me fear that this was going to be another boring Bible study, or a pile of Bible quotes, but oh no - the book turned out to be a gem. Theologically sophisticated, yet always accesible, the book argues for ascribing rights to animals -- including the right not to be killed and eaten -- based on the primacy of love, or the dominion of love, which according to the author should be our overriding ethical and theological principle, one that is grounded in the Bible, "God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." (1 Joh 4:16).
I think many readers will be surprised, as I was, by how stong a case the author manages to make for animal rights, basing himself on the Bible.
The author's prose is excellent.
Pelle Strindlund, Sweden

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