Animals as Religious Subjects: A Transdisciplinary Conference

The European Forum for the Study of Religion and Environment held the third international conference from Saturday 21st May to Tuesday 24th May 2011 at the University of Chester, in association with Gladstone's residential library, Hawarden, Wales.

Minding Animals Conference

Minding Animals Confernce 2: Utrecht

This is one of the pre-conferences for the Minding Animals Conference 2: Utrecht 2012

Visit the Study Circles page for further information.

The organisers are grateful to the Schweisfurth Foundation for providing a financial contribution toward the costs of this conference. 

Confirmed keynote speakers

The first public lecture by Professor Marc Bekoff was at University of Chester on Saturday 21st May. The remainder of the conference will be held at Gladstone's residential library. The conference finished on Tuesday morning.

  • Prof. Tim Ingold (Dept. Anthropology, University of Aberdeen, UK)
  • Prof. Marc Bekoff (Dept. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Boulder, USA)
  • Prof. Stephen Clark (Dept. Philosophy, University of Liverpool, UK)
  • Prof. Sabine Obermaier (Deutschen Institut der Universität Mainz, Germany)
  • Prof. David Clough (Dept. Theology and Religious Studies, University of Chester, UK)
  • Dr Aleks Pluskowski (Dept Archaeology, University of Reading, UK)
  • The Very Revd. Dr Antje Jackelén (Bishop of Lund, Sweden)
  • Dr Kurt Remele (Institut für Ethik und Gesellschaftslehre, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria)
  • Professor Ingvild Gilhus, (Dept Religion, University of Bergen, AHKR, Norway)



  • Bekoff: "Emotional and moral intelligence in animals and why they matter"
  • Clark: "Ask now the beasts and they shall teach thee" (Job 12.7)
  • Clough: "Putting Animals in Their Place: On the Theological Classification of Creatures"
  • Gilhus: "Animals in Late Antiquity and Early Christianity"
  • Ingold: "Walking with dragons"
  • Obermaier: "Hedgehog skin and Golden Calf. Animals as symbols for paganism in medieval German literature"
  • Pluskowski: "The long, dark shadow of the horse cemetery: sanctifying animals in northern Europe on either side of the conversion to Christianity"
  • Remele: "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there's always meat and good red wine? On being kind to animals and a vegetarian in the Roman Catholic Church."
  • Jackelén: "Human enhancement and animal rights - an impossible combination?"

Short papers were invited around the theme of Animals as Religious Subjects.