Animals, Theology and the Incarnation
SCM Press, 2017, vi + 290 pp., hdbk
Animal theology, which focuses on the place of non-human animals within Christian thought, is a growing and important area of theological and ethical research. Kris Hiuser tackles head-on what is perhaps the greatest challenge for this new area of theology: the humanity of Christ. One prominent approach within animal theology has been to articulate the incarnation as taking on ‘flesh’ or ‘creaturehood’ in general, rather than a specific human nature. Afterall, just how does one uphold the significance of God’s humanity in the incarnation, without derogating or neglecting non-human animals within one’s theology? Hiuser’s constructive solution to this problem is that God’s rationale for the incarnation extends far beyond humanity, but the choice to assume a human nature is not accidental to God’s cosmic plan. This is because humanity has a unique calling to participate in the redemption, divinisation, or sanctification of nonhuman animals.