Moral apes, human uniqueness, and the image of God

Zygon 44 (3):613-624 (2009)
Recent advances in evolutionary biology and ethology suggest that humans are not the only species capable of empathy and possibly morality. These findings are of no little consequence for theology, given that a nonhuman animal as a free moral agent would beg the question if human beings are indeed uniquely created in God's image. I argue that apes and some other mammals have moral agency and that a traditional interpretation of the imago Dei is incorrectly equating specialness with exclusivity. By framing the problem in terms of metaphor, following the work of Paul Ricoeur and Sallie McFague, I propose that the concept of the imago Dei could be extended to accommodate moral species other than our own.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2009.01019.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,780
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume - 1738 - Oxford University Press.
Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & G. Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):515-629.
Primate Cognition.Amanda Seed & Michael Tomasello - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):407-419.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
64 ( #90,232 of 2,214,632 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,824 of 2,214,632 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature