The Archbishop of York has floated the possibility that animals as well
as humans might have another life beyond this one. Dr Habgood was
speaking to the British Association for the Advancement of Science at
Loughborough University on Thursday last week, on "A Theological
Understanding of Life and Death."
He spoke of "the identity of the self", existing in the mind of God.
"I am what I am because God knows me. If it is true that the essence of
life is organisation and relatedness, then it is not nonsensical to
think of a particular identity as being re-expressed, communicated
perhaps, in some other realm of being.
"But this possibility is not to be seen as an inherent property of a
biological organism. The theoretical possibility lies in God's decision,
like the resurrection, an act of grace, that a relationship formed with
him on earth should be reactivated in heaven. . .
"I have been deliberately concentrating on human life and death
because this is the only life we know from within. How far other
identities are held, as it were, in the hand of God, is completely
unknown to us. But I am attracted to the thought that at least some
animals we have known and loved may find some sort of continuing
identity through their relationship with us."
From the Church Times dated 16th September, 1994.