The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973


Animals may have souls, says Primate

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.

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