Divinanimality: Creaturely Theology  |  Eleventh Drew Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium Drew Theological School Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia Series
Jan Harrison, The Corridor Series Primate #28, 2009

Presenters | Respondents & Discussants | Student Presenters



Denise K. Buell, "The Microbes and Pneuma that Therefore I Am" Abstract>

Denise K. Buell is Professor of Religion at Williams College and senior member of its Women's and Gender Studies Program. Her research asks how contemporary and ancient concerns have affected the interpretation and reconstruction of early Christian history and texts, with particular attention to the interactions and intra-actions of religion, race, ethnicity, and gender. Her current research examines how religious texts and communities produce "humans", as well as produce differences among humans and porous boundaries between humans and non-humans (other animals, divinities). Her work appears in multiple articles as well in Making Christians: Clement of Alexandria and the Rhetoric of Legitimacy (1999) and Why This New Race: Ethnic Reasoning in Early Christianity (2005).


Laura Hobgood-Oster, "With Dogs and Lions as Witnesses: Animals and the Word in Christianity" Abstract>

Laura Hobgood-Oster is Professor and Paden Chair in Religion and Environmental Studies at Southwestern University where she has served on the faculty since 1998. Dr. Hobgood-Oster teaches in the areas of religion and ecology, animals in religion, the history of Christianity, and ecofeminism. Her two most recent books are The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity's Compassion for Animals (2010) and Holy Dogs and Asses: Animals in the Christian Tradition (2008). She also served as an executive editor of The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature and has written numerous articles and encyclopedia entries. Dr. Hobgood-Oster holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from St. Louis University and a M.Div. from Vanderbilt University. In addition, she is the dog rescue coordinator for the Georgetown Animal Shelter.


Jennifer L. Koosed, "Daniel's Animal Apocalypse," with Robert Paul Seesengood, Abstract>

Jennifer L. Koosed is Associate Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Vanderbilt University. She has published articles in the journal Semeia, and in various edited volumes such as Derrida's Bible (Reading a Page of Scripture with a Little Help from Derrida) (2004). She is the author of the books (Per)mutations of Qohelet: Reading the Body in the Book (2006) and Gleaning Ruth: A Biblical Heroine and Her Afterlives (2011). Currently, she is editing a book on posthuman engagements with biblical scripture.


Glen A. Mazis, "Animals, Before Me, With Whom I Live, By Whom I am Addressed, Writing after Derrida" Abstract>

Glen A. Mazis is Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Penn State Harrisburg and former Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Masters Program. His books include Emotion and Embodiment: Fragile Ontology (1993); The Trickster, Magician and Grieving Man: Returning Men to Earth (1994); Earthbodies: Rediscovering Our Planetary Senses (2002); and Humans, Animals, Machines: Blurring Boundaries (2008). He has also published more than 70 poems in literary journals, and 30 essays in philosophical journals or book chapters on aspects of Merleau-Ponty's philosophy as well as about the topics of interpersonal perception, time, film, emotion, imagination, dreams, poetry, artificial intelligence, technology, chaos theory, ecology, ethics, Husserl, Sartre, Levinas, Derrida, Jungian depth psychology, and Buddhist emptiness. He is currently writing The Sensual Depth of the World's Face: Merleau-Ponty and Embodying Time, Matter and Interanimality. His interest in the entwining of humans, animals, and certain machines is to find creative and helpful ways of promoting cooperation among these realms, so we may thrive in a biospirituality.


Jay McDaniel, "Listening to Animals: Continental and Process Thought in Conversation," with Aaron Simmons, Abstract>

Jay McDaniel is Director of the Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy at Hendrix College and editor of the online magazine: www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org. Author of ten books and with much experience in being mentored by animals, he is the co-editor of Good News for Animals: Contemporary Christian Approaches to Animal Well-Being (2008). Influenced by process theology, he is a recent student of post-colonial and post-modern continental thought, as aided by a longtime friendship with Catherine Keller. He is especially interested in the sense of kinship that is possible with animals, and wants to consider relations between kinship, alterity, and poetics (understood as seeking wisdom for daily life).


Stephen D. Moore, "Ecotheriology" Abstract>

Stephen D. Moore is Professor of New Testament at the Theological School, Drew University. He has authored or co-authored, edited or co-edited, around twenty volumes, most recently The Bible in Theory: Critical and Postcritical Essays (2010); Planetary Loves: Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology, with Mayra Rivera (2010); and The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical Manifesto, with Yvonne Sherwood (2011). He has begun to work at the juncture of animality studies and biblical studies. His essays "Why There Are No Humans or Animals in the Gospel of Mark" and "Divinanimality and (Post)humanity: Ruminations on Revelation's Ruminant, Quadrupedal Christ; or, the Even-Toed Ungulate That Therefore I Am" are slated to appear in forthcoming volumes.


Kate Rigby, "Animal Calls" Abstract>

Kate Rigby is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at Monash University and a Fellow of the Australian Humanities Academy. Her research ranges across German Studies, European philosophy, literature and religion, and culture and ecology. Her most recent book is Topographies of the Sacred (2004), an ecocritical study of European Romanticism, and she is also co-editor with Axel Goodbody of Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches (2011). She is a founding co-editor of the journal, Philosophy Activism Nature, and was the founding President of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (Australia-New Zealand). Her current research is concerned with culture and climate change, focusing on religious, literary and philosophical conceptions and representations of natural and environmental disaster from the late 18th century to the present.


Robert Paul Seesengood, "Daniel's Animal Apocalypse," with Jennifer L. Koosed, Abstract>

Robert Paul Seesengood is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Competing Identities: The Athlete and the Gladiator in Early Christianity (2006) and Paul: A Brief History (2009). He is completing Jesse's Lineage: The Legendary Lives of David, Jesus, and Jesse James, a work co-written with Jennifer Koosed that explores issues of oral tradition, history, popular devotion, and legend surrounding pivotal folk-heroes and biblical messiahs. In general, his work explores the intersection(s) of biblical literature and popular culture, ancient and modern. Most recently, he has turned his attention to biblical and pop-cultural constructions of the human vis-à-vis the animal.


Ken Stone, "The Dogs of Exodus and the Question of the Animal" Abstract>

Ken Stone is Professor of Bible, Culture and Hermeneutics at Chicago Theological Seminary, where he also serves as Academic Dean. He is the author or editor of several books, including Practicing Safer Texts: Food, Sex and Bible in Queer Perspective (2005); Queer Commentary and the Hebrew Bible (2001); and Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship (in press), co-edited with Teresa Hornsby. Stone is currently working on a volume of essays on the Hebrew Bible and the question of the animal.



Edward Baring is Assistant Professor of Modern European History at Drew University. His work examines the relationship between modern continental philosophy and broader social and political movements. In his book, The Young Derrida (2011), he traces the impact of Christian thinking on Derrida’s early philosophy. Currently he is working on a book concerning the intersections of phenomenology and neo-scholastic thought, in an attempt to understand the prodigious expansion of phenomenology around Europe in the middle decades of the twentieth century. His other publications include essays on structuralism, existentialism, and postcolonial theory in Modern Intellectual History, Critical Inquiry and various edited volumes.

Whitney A. Bauman is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Florida International University. He received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, his M.T.S. from Vanderbilt Divinity School, and his B.A. from Hendrix College. He teaches courses such as “Earth Ethics,” “Religion, Gender, and Nature,” “Religion and Science,” and “Technology and Human Values.” His publications include: Theology, Creation, and Environmental Ethics(2009); with Rick Bohannon and Kevin O’Brien, Grounding Religion: A Fieldguide to the Study of Religion and Ecology (2010) and Inherited Land: The Changing Grounds of Religion and Ecology (2011). He is currently working on a manuscript, Religion, Nature, and Globalization: Creating Planetary Identities. Bauman is the co-chair of the Religion and Ecology Group at the American Academy of Religion and Book Review Editor for the journal Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and the Environment. His research and work interests have most recently taken him to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and India.

Marc Boglioli is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Environmental Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies at Drew University whose work focuses on human-animal relationships, gender, and modernity. He has conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork on Euro-American hunters in rural Vermont, which resulted in a recent book, A Matter of Life and Death: Hunting in Contemporary Vermont (2009); and ethnohistorical work on Native American sacred places. Currently, he is investigating the ways that understandings of human-environment relationships and whiteness coalesce to construct local identities in rural America, and finishing up an extended theoretical piece on the essentialization of "Western human-nature relations"--what he refers to as ecological occidentalism.

Virginia Burrus is Professor of Early Church History and Chair of the Graduate Division of Religion at Drew University. Her scholarly interests in the field of ancient Christianity include: gender, sexuality, and the body; martyrdom and asceticism; ancient novels and hagiography; constructions of orthodoxy and heresy; histories of theology and historical theologies. She is author, most recently, of Seducing Augustine: Bodies, Desires, Confessions, co-authored with Mark Jordan and Karmen MacKendrick (2010); and Saving Shame: Martyrs, Saints, and Other Abject Subjects (2007). Areas of current scholarly interest include ancient understandings of materiality, creation, beauty, and the miraculous; a long-standing interest in hagiography continues as well. Earlier this year she gave a paper entitled “Wyschogrod’s Hand: Saints, Animality, and the Labor of Love” at a conference in honor of the memory of philosopher Edith Wyschogrod, and also delivered a lecture at Fordham University entitled “Saints and Other Animals: The Limits of Humanity.”

Danna Nolan Fewell is Professor of Hebrew Bible at Drew University. Her teaching and research interests focus upon literary, cultural, and ideological approaches to biblical narrative, the Bible in art, children and biblical literature, and the ethics of reading. Her major works include: Icon of Loss: The Haunting Child of Samuel Bak (2009); Representing the Irreparable: The Shoah, the Bible, and the Art of Samuel Bak (2008); The Children of Israel: Reading the Bible for the Sake of Our Children (2003); Narrative in the Hebrew Bible (1993); and Gender, Power, and Promise: The Subject of the Bible’s First Story (1993).

Antonia Gorman obtained her doctorate from Drew University with a dissertation on secularized “atonement” paradigms that sacrifice animals in the quest for human “salvation.” Two case studies illustrated the thesis: medical salvation through the vivisection of animals and free market salvation through the sacrifice of endangered species and their habitats. Currently, she is a research executive whose clients include the Humane Society’s (HSUS) Faith Outreach Program. For the HSUS, she has compiled denominational faith statements on animals and is updating a 1906 book entitled The Church and Kindness to Animals. Her other recent publications include essays for EcoSpirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth (2007) and the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability (2010).

Laurel Kearns is Associate Professor of Sociology and Religion and Environmental Studies at Drew Theological School and the Graduate Division of Religion of Drew University. Her research is focused on religious, particularly Christian, involvement in environmental issues, nature spirituality, environmental justice, and most recently religious responses to climate change. In addition to EcoSpirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth (2007), co-edited with Catherine Keller, she has contributed chapters to such volumes as The Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology (2007), Religion, Globalization, and Culture (2007), Earth and Word (2007), The Oxford Handbook on Climate Change and Society (2011), and Religion in Environmental and Climate Change: Suffering, Values, Lifestyles (2012), as well as articles in The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (2008) and The Spirit of Sustainability (2009).

Catherine Keller is Professor of Constructive Theology in the Graduate Division of Religion and the Theological School of Drew University. She develops the spectrum of recent philosophical, feminist, and eco-political theologies in interaction with wider traditions of cosmology and mysticism. Books she has authored include Apocalypse Now and Then: A Feminist Guide to the End of the World (1996); God and Power (2005); The Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming (2003); and On the Mystery (2008). She has co-edited multiple volumes of the Drew Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium, including Postcolonial Theologies (2004); Ecospirit (2007); Apophatic Bodies (2009); and, most recently, Polydoxy (2010). She is currently writing Cloud of the Impossible: Theological Entanglements.

Dr. Elías Ortega-Aponte is Assistant Professor of Afro-Latino/a Religions and Cultural Studies at Drew University and Theological School. His areas of expertise are critical race theory, critical theory, cultural sociology, Latino/a cultural studies, Africana studies, and religious ethics. Dr. Ortega-Aponte's current research in religious humanism has led him to explore the intersection between religion and science, with particular interest in the evolution of morality and neuroscience.

Mayra Rivera is Assistant Professor of Theology and Latina/o Studies at Harvard Divinity School. Her current research examines uses of "flesh" and "body" in contemporary debates about the material and performative elements of corporeality. She is author of The Touch of Transcendence: A Postcolonial Theology of God (2007) and co-editor with Stephen Moore of Planetary Loves: Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology (2011) and with Catherine Keller and Michael Nausner of Postcolonial Theologies: Divinity and Empire (2004).

Mary-Jane Rubenstein is Associate Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University, where she teaches continental philosophies of religion and modern Christian thought. She is the author of Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe (2009) and of numerous articles on Kierkegaard, Heidegger, negative theology, and the crisis over sex and gender in the Anglican Communion. She is currently working on a book about ancient and contemporary models of the multiverse, provisionally entitled Worlds without End: Cosmology and Multiplicity.

Rev. Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Drew Theological School where her teaching includes Africana Hermeneutics, Women in Antiquity, and other courses in New Testament and Early Christianity. Dr. Spencer Miller’s current research interest focuses on orality as a cultural epistemology and a subaltern perspective within New Testament Studies. She describes this developing interest as ideologically anti-colonial rather than post-colonial. Her publications include: Feminist New Testament Studies: Global and Future Perspectives (2005), co-edited with Kathleen O'Brien Wicker and Musa Dube. Recent publications include “Women and Christianity in the Caribbean: Living Past the Colonial Legacy,” in Women and Christianity (2009), co-edited by Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan and Karen Jo Torjesen. She is currently working on a manuscript provisionally entitled, Oral Talk and Other Sensuous Details.

Carol Wayne White is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and a faculty member of the Comparative Humanities Program at Bucknell University. Her publications include Poststructuralism, Feminism, and Religion: Triangulating Positions (2002), The Legacy of Anne Conway (1631-70): Reverberations from a Mystical Naturalism (2009), and multiple articles addressing the intersections of critical theory, process thought, and religion. Dr. White is currently completing a book that explores expanded views of the human within the frameworks of postmodern science and religious naturalism. She is increasingly interested in understanding the kinship and differences among various species that challenge outdated conceptions of distinctive human nature in the West.



An Yountae, Drew University
"Entering into the Serpent: Mestizaje, Animal Abyss, and Decolonial Freedom" Abstract>

Christy Cobb, Drew University
"Leonine Animality and Ambiguity in the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles"Abstract>

Brianne Donaldson, Claremont School of Theology
"Animal Bodies and the Unruly Soul: Rethinking Animal Liberation with Butler and Jain Karma" Abstract>

Jake Erickson, Drew Theological School
"The Apophatic Animal: Towards a Negative Zootheological Imago Dei" Abstract>

Beatrice Marovich, Drew Theological School
"Little Bird in my Praying Hands: Rilke and the Autoimmunity of God’s Animal Body" Abstract>

Peter Anthony Mena, Drew Theological School
"Late Ancient Mestizaje: An Anzalduan Reading of Longus and Jerome" Abstract>

Eric Daryl Meyer, Fordham University
"The Logos of God and the End of Man: Animality as Light and Life" Abstract>

Erika Murphy, Drew Theological School
"Devouring the Human: Digestion of a Corporeal Soteriology"

Stephanie Day Powell and Amy Beth Jones, Drew Theological School
"You are the Man! The Traumatic Survival of the Human from the Animal in the Hebrew Bible" Abstract>

Matt Riley, Drew Theological School
"Fuel-Efficient Creatures: Ecotheology and Lynn White’s Animal-Machines" Abstract>

Terra Rowe, Drew Theological School
"The Animality of God" Abstract>



Jan Harrison (c), The Corridoe Series Primate #28, 2009, Pastel, charcoal, and ink on rag paper, 30.25 x 22.50 inches

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