Jan 28, 2007
The Ferrater Mora Oxford Animal Ethics Centre
We want to welcome the creation of an academic centre for the furthering of the case of rights for nonhuman animals worldwide.
The Ferrater Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics has been created with the aim of putting nonhuman animals on the intellectual agenda.
As its website explains, the Centre is the world’s first academy dedicated to the enhancement of the ethical status of animals through academic publication, teaching and research. It will act as an international, independent think tank for the advancement of progressive thought about animals.
The Director of the Centre, Oxford theologian, the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, said when the centre was presented: “There is a strong rational case for animals, which has been recognised over the centuries by academics and philosophers. What is needed is for this rational case to be much better known.” He added: “We must strive to ensure animal issues are highlighted and rationally discussed throughout society - we cannot change the world for animals without changing our ideas about them. The Centre will promote ethical attitudes and contribute to informed public debate.”
The Associate Director of the Centre Professor Priscilla Cohn, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University, said: “It seems to us that academics should take the lead in helping to foster a new kind of debate about animals – one that goes beyond slogans and stereotypes.”
The Centre is named after the distinguished Spanish Philosopher, José Ferrater Mora, who courageously spoke out against bull-fighting in Spain.
More than 100 academics from 10 countries have supported the Centre.
You can visit the Centre’s website at:
Nov 29, 2006
OXFORD CENTRE FOR ANIMAL ETHICS
Nov 27 - 40 Theologians Support New Animal Ethics Centre at Oxford
More than 40 theologians - out of 100 academics from 10 countries -
have agreed to become Advisers to the new Oxford Centre for Animal
Ethics - to be launched online on Monday (27 November) at
ics.com - which aims to put animals on the
The Centre is the world's first academy dedicated to the enhancement
of the ethical status of animals through academic publication,
teaching and research. Academics world-wide from both the sciences and
the humanities will be eligible to become Fellows of the Centre. It
will act as an international, independent think tank for the
advancement of progressive thought about animals.
The ecumenical team of Christian theologians include: Professor Ann
Loades from Durham, Professor Carter Heyward from the Episcopal
Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Professor John Berkman
from the Dominican School of Theology at the Graduate Theological
Union at Berkeley, California; Professor Gareth Jones from Canterbury
Christ Church University; Professor David May from the Central Baptist
Theological Seminary, Kansas; Professor Carolyn J. Sharp of Yale
Divinity School, and Professors Elizabeth Stuart and Lisa Isherwood
and Dr Anna King from Winchester University.
They are joined by philosophers of religion, Dr Peter Vardy,
Vice-Principal of Heythrop College, London, and Dr Pamela Sue Anderson
from Regent's Park College, Oxford, together with specialists in world
religions including: Professor Kimberley Patton from Harvard Divinity
School, Professor Richard Gombrich from Oxford, Professor Christopher
Key Chapple from Loyola Marymount University, and two Islamic
Scholars, Professor Neal Robinson from Sogang University, Seoul, and
Professor Mohamed Mahmoud from Tufts University.
The Centre's first director, Oxford theologian, the Revd Professor
Andrew Linzey, said today: 'The support of such a large number of
internationally recognised academics underlines just how important
animals are as a moral issue. It is heartening that so many
theologians are taking the lead'.
'There is a strong rational case for animals, which has been
recognised over the centuries by academics and philosophers. What is
needed is for this rational case to be much better known and there are
now signs that progressive thinking is becoming mainstream.
Importantly, animals are now recognized as sentient beings in European
law; and, in the UK, the most comprehensive - and long overdue -
overhaul of animal welfare legislation for almost a century is shortly
to be enacted into law.'
'We must strive to ensure animal issues are highlighted and rationally
discussed throughout society - we cannot change the world for animals
without changing our ideas about them. The Centre will promote ethical
attitudes and contribute to informed public debate.'
One of the areas of research is to be the relationship between animal
abuse and violence to human beings. One of the world's major writers,
who has explored this link - Nobel Laureate in Literature, Professor
J. M. Coetzee - has honoured the Centre by agreeing to become its
first Honorary Fellow. Other projects being pursued include an online
course in animal ethics, a new monograph series, and a new Journal of
Professor Priscilla Cohn, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Penn
State University, who is the Associate Director of the Centre, added:
'It seems to us that academics should take the lead in helping to
foster a new kind of debate about animals - one that goes beyond
slogans and stereotypes' .
The Advisers and the first six Fellows are listed on the Centre's
website: www.oxfordanimaleth ics.com. The Centre is named after the
distinguished Spanish Philosopher, JosÈ Ferrater Mora, who
courageously spoke out against bull-fighting in Spain.
For more information, contact
Professor Andrew Linzey, (+44) (0)1865 201565;
Professor Priscilla Cohn, (001) 610 525 2957 or 610 525 5089
Notes to Editors:
The Revd Professor Andrew Linzey is a Member of the Faculty of
Theology, University of Oxford, and holds the world's first post in
Ethics, Theology and Animal Welfare - the Bede Jarrett Senior Research
Fellowship at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford. He has written
or edited 20 books, including Animal Theology (SCM Press/University of
Illinois Press, 1994) and Animal Rights: A Historical Anthology
(Columbia University Press, 2005).
Professor Priscilla N. Cohn is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at
Abington College, Penn State University. She has taught courses on
animal ethics for 35 years, and lectured on five continents. Her books
include Contraception in Wildlife, Book 1 (Edwin Mellen Press, 1996)
and Ethics and Wildlife (Edwin Mellen Press, 1999).
The first six Founding Fellows comprise three theologians, two
philosophers, and one scientist from the UK, US, Australia, Armenia
and Canada: Professor Paul Ara Barsam (theologian at the University of
Yerevan, Armenia), Professor Mark Bernstein (philosopher at Purdue
University, USA), Dr Scott Cowdell (theologian at Charles Sturt
University and Rector, St Paul's Anglican Church, Canberra,
Australia), Professor Susan Pigott (Old Testament scholar at
Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas), Professor Mark Rowlands
(philosopher at the University of Hertfordshire) , and Professor Martin
Willison (biologist and environmentalist at Dalhousie University,
Halifax, Novia Scotia, Canada).
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