Religious Vegetarianism: From Hesiod to the Dalai Lama / Edition 1

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An anthology of writings on vegetarianism from a wide range of religious traditions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
β€œAn anthology of the caliber of Religious Vegetarianism makes a wonderful case for the ability of scholars today to be able to go into the oldest, most established traditions or codified entities and expose the unexpectedly radical ideas that are embedded there.” β€” Worldviews
Library Journal
Although Unitarian minister Kowalski is both vegetarian and antivivisectionist, his newest book is not about deriving support for these ethical teachings from Judeo-Christian scripture. Rather, this is a series of personal meditations on some of the more prominent events in the Hebrew Bible, considering how they relate to our treatment of animals. In the first chapter, Kowalski meditates on the creation narratives of Genesis and touches on our stewardship of the earth. He points out how like us the animals are, as they sing and dance and love as we do. Kowalski continues with chapters on the story of Noah's Ark, the near-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, the suffering of Job and his restoration, and, finally, the story of Jonah. Occasionally saccharine and often idiosyncratic in scriptural interpretation, these meditations are nonetheless always intelligent and frequently moving. Recommended especially for public libraries for its appeal to both students and casual readers. Religious Vegetarianism, on the other hand, is entirely about the justification of vegetarianism through the doctrines of several major religious traditions. Religious historian Walters (Benjamin Franklin and His Gods, LJ 1/90) and Portmess (philosophy, Gettysburg Coll.) divide the book into sections on the Orphic-Pythagorean tradition, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each section contains a brief introduction and several sample writings. This structure necessarily renders the book uneven in style, and it is best used by beginning scholars as a basic sourcebook. For academic libraries and public libraries with substantial collections in religion or ethics. James F. DeRoche, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This collection of primary writings from the Orphic-Pythagorean, Indian, Buddhist, Judaic, Christian, and Islamic traditions, features short and easily digestible offerings by thinkers such as Hesiod, Porphyry, Swami Vivekanada, Mohandas Gandhi, Chu-Hung, Asoka, Joseph Rosenfeld, Roberta Kalechofsky, Tom Regan, Carol J. Adams, Rumi, and Al-Hafiz B.A. Masri. One of the more uncommon ideas comes from the Dalai Lama: "If your body needs meat, it may be better to eat bigger animals," the logic being that in the case of small animals, "many lives must be sacrificed." Includes an annotated bibliography of recommended readings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791449721
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Kerry Walters

Kerry S. Walters is Professor of Philosophy and Lisa Portmess is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Gettysburg College. They are coeditors of the companion volume Ethical Vegetarianism: From Pythagoras to Peter Singer, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Ambiguous Permission, Journeying Souls, Resplendent Life

The Orphic-Pythagorean Tradition

Hesiod: The Five Ages
Porphyry: The Blessed Life
Ovid: Pythagoras of Samos: Spirit Never Perishes
Empedocles: I Have Been a Leaping Journeying Fish
Philostratus: Apollonius of Tyana: Sweet Offerings

The Indian Tradition

The Laws of Manu: The Sin of Killing
Akaranga Sutra: To Harm No Living Being
Kabir: Human Flesh and Beast Flesh Are the Same
Swami Vivekananda: Oneness Includes All Animals
Mohandas Gandhi: Diet and Non-Violence
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: Thou Shalt Not Kill

The Buddhist Tradition

Surangama Sutra: Prohibition Against Killing
Lankavatara Sutra: Cherish Each Being Like an Only Child
Asoka: On Animals I Have Conferred Many Boons
Sir Edwin Arnold: All Life Is Linked
Chu-Hung: Releasing Life
Philip Kapleau: Meat Eating and the First Precept
The Dalai Lama: Compassion for All Sentient Beings

The Judaic Tradition

Roberta Kalechofsky: Kashrut: A Provegetarian Bias in Torah
Everett E. Gendler: The Life of His Beast
Joseph Rosenfeld: The Religious Justification for Vegetarianism
Abraham Isaac Kook: A Firm and Joyous Voice of Life

The Christian Tradition

Andrew Linzey: Vegetarianism as a Biblical Ideal
Tom Regan: In the Fullness of God's Creation
Francis X. Clooney: Vegetarianism and Religion
Carol J. Adams: Feeding on Grace: Institutional Violence, Christianity, and Vegetarianism

The Islamic Tradition

Rumi: The Men Who Ate the Elephant
His Holiness M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen: Qurban and The Hunger Learns Compassion from the Fawn
Al-Hafiz B.A. Masri: They Are Communities Like You

For Further Reading



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