Forming Christian Concern for Animals: Lessons from Early Methodism

RGTRP, Adam Room, Grove House

Image - Forming Christian Concern for Animals: Lessons from Early Methodism

Speaker: Professor David Clough (University of Chester)
Time: 11.30 am - 12.45 pm

In his sermon ‘The General Deliverance’ John Wesley hoped that recalling God’s mercies to all creatures as evident in Romans ch. 8 may ‘enlarge our hearts towards these creatures’ so that we may ‘habituate ourselves to look forward, beyond this present scene of bondage, to the happy time, when they will be delivered therefrom, into the liberty of the children of God’. His contemporaries within Methodism and in the wider church, and those who followed after, recognized this as an issue of obvious concern for Christians, on the basis of their beliefs about the place of fellow animal creatures in God’s purposes of creation and redemption. In this lecture David Clough argues that it is time that Methodists together with other Christians reclaimed this inheritance, and as a result led the campaign to challenge human practice that disregards and diminishes their fellow animal creatures, most immediately as it relates to our everyday eating practices.

David Clough is Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chester. After his first book Ethics in Crisis: Interpreting Barth’s Ethics (2005) he co-wrote Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War (2007), debating just war and pacifism in a 21st century context, and has recently completed the landmark two-volume monograph On Animals (2012, 2019), on the place of animals in Christian theology and ethics. He is the founder of CreatureKind (http://becreaturekind.org), a project aiming to engage Christians with farmed animal welfare, and Principal Investigator for a three-year UK Research Council funded project on the Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal Welfare in partnership with major UK churches and Compassion in World Farming. He is a Methodist Local Preacher and has represented the Methodist Church on national ecumenical working groups on the ethics of warfare and climate change.

We are very grateful to The Susanna Wesley Foundation for sponsoring a series in the 2019/20 programme on the theme of 'formation'. 

Click here for the full RGTRP seminar programme for 2019/20.