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Ask the Animals: Developing a Biblical Animal Hermeneutic
Arthur W. Walker-Jones, Suzanna R. Millar, editors
SemeiaSt 104
Publication Date
June 2024


Ask the animals, and they will tell you.

Birds, beasts, and creeping things swarm throughout the Bible’s pages. Despite their prevalence, most biblical scholars have viewed them merely as metaphors, passive objects, or background embellishment to the human experience. This collection seeks to move beyond this traditional view of biblical animals by engaging the growing interdisciplinary field of animal studies. Contributors Peter Joshua Atkins, Jared Beverly, William P. Brown, Margaret Cohen, Jacob R. Evers, Michael J. Gilmour, William “Chip” Gruen, Dong Hyeon Jeong, Brian Fiu Kolia, Anne Létourneau, Robert R. MacKay, Suzanna R. Millar, Timothy J. Sandoval, Robert Paul Seesengood, Ken Stone, Brian James Tipton, Arthur W. Walker-Jones, and Jaime L. Waters showcase the breadth and depth of inquiry that animal studies can foster in biblical studies as well as what animal studies can gain from a more rigorous engagement with biblical texts. Together the essays offer an animal hermeneutic that supports the flourishing of all creatures.

Arthur W. Walker-Jones is Professor of Religion and Culture at the University of Winnipeg. He is the author of Hebrew for Biblical Interpretation (2003), The Green Psalter: Resources for an Ecological Spirituality (2009), and Psalms Book 2: An Earth Bible Commentary; “As a Doe Groans” (2019). 

Suzanna R. Millar is a lecturer in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of Genre and Openness in Proverbs 10:1–22:16 (2020) and the editor of the Oxford Handbook of the Bible and Animals (forthcoming). She is a cochair of research groups on animal studies for the Society of Biblical Literature and the European Association of Biblical Studies.