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Comments by Daniel Salomon - 15 Feb 2009

In Reference to: Human-Animal Reconciliation

Dear Frank and Mary,

Thanks once again for taking the time, to continue to read my book and provide feedback.

To answer your question, I am pointing to both, and I understand the Peaceable Kingdom as three fold:

1. As someone who was brought-up Jewish, I definitely see the Peaceable Kingdom as what the Messianic Age would look like.

2. I also see the Peaceable Kingdom as what Heaven, or the afterlife looks like.

3. But, I also see the Peaceable Kingdom as "near" - it is something we can help build in our lives and our world, with the help of the Holy Spirit. And, if not actualize, at least try, or at least like John the Baptist, "prepare the way." I see certain Medieval projects, as attempts to justify this, e.g. The Celtic Christians, The Franciscans, The Desert Fathers. Just to name a few.

Definitely, I see the Peaceable Kingdom as a sacred pattern or "ought" that we should work towards in our social ordering. A world where we live in peace and harmony across species lines. This is the world I want to live in and work towards.

I am definitely with you, even if it does not necessary come out in this particular work, the Holy Spirit at work in my life, has helped me to transcend the limitations of both Christianity and science too, in terms of understanding animals and the Natural World, as well as working through and with me, through these mediums. In fact, I worked with the Holy Spirit, for all steps of this project, but was unsure how to cite it, for not everyone, even in the theology field is sympathetic to or understands this.

But, clearly some of my best encounters with nonhuman animal life is not when I am trying or doing some methodology, but happens naturally, as a kind of gift of the spirit. As soon as I try to control it, it seems to loose its power. As I state in this work, I don't know if you have gotten there, at one point, I argue that the Holy Spirit is the salient variable of making this possible.

My main goals for doing this work are several fold:

1) To find a viable humane alternative to hunting/eradication for "nuisance animals", which is non lethal, non-invasive, and nonviolent.

2) To utilize the ecological wisdom of the Christian tradition in doing so - for I contend that the Christian tradition has something constructive and unique to offer this discussion.

3) To translate and replicate these amazing relationships Christians have had with animals in a twenty-first century context, applied to the problem of hunting/eradication. My paradigm is human-animal reconciliation. That, just as stewardship could be considered the primary Christian environmental imperative, reconciliation could be understand as the primary Christian animal imperative. I had a conversion experience, which this principle was revealed to me. I used to have lots of anger and rage at humanity for how they have treated animals and Nature. One summer, God helped me to let go of this anger and rage, and focus instead on the possibility that human being have the capability to live right with animals and the Natural World. And, to work towards this instead. This helped me to forgive human beings for their very poor treatment of animals and the Earth.

If you are interested, to learn more about the type of relationship I have with God read my second work, Creation Unveiled. Also, to understand better my worldview, and understand some of my beliefs about the relationship between science and religion, my views on animal theology, etc. read my third book, Christian Environmental Studies. I can send you a complementary copy of the ladder via e-mail, if you are interested.

A lot of where I am coming from, my ontological foundations, will be revealed in the yet to be released book, Doing Theology In Pictures: Confessions From An Autistic Theologian.

Was this is helpful?

Please do not hesitate to e-mail me with more comments or questions.

Thanks very much!


Daniel Salomon

Go on to: Comments by Frank and Mary Hoffman - 16 Feb 2009
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