Dyrenes betydning i religion og filosofi – en oversigt

Forfattere

  • Lars Albinus

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.7146/rt.v71i0.123486

Nøgleord:

Animals; immanent transcendence; symbolism vs. allegory; animism; analogism; philosophy; eco-criticism

Resumé

Lars Albinus

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this article, I present an overview of the meaning and significance of animals in a religious context, ranging from tribal cultures to a Christian tradition. Furthermore, I will draw a line to current philosophical and eco-critical debates. My thesis is that in many cultures humans have had a tendency to regard animals as a mediating link between life in this world and a transcendent form of being. In animistic and totemistic ontologies animals are closely related to divinities as well as to humanity as such, whereas in more developed forms of religion they become part of a hierarchy as mediators between humans and gods. This is seen, for instance, in sacrificial cult. Later their significance decreases according to their predominant role of being moral similes. In our own times, however, animals seem to regain a significance as beings in their own right owing to our increasing ecological awareness. Prominent philosophers such as Derrida and Agamben have thus questioned the traditional view of human exceptionalism and opened up for a new understanding of the relationship between being animal and being human. I finally suggest that Agamben’s concept of ‘bare life’ and an eco-critical notion of stewardship concerning endangered species, as well as animals in general, both conceive of the animal as a new kind of immanent transcendence.

DANSK SUMMARY: Jeg tegner i denne artikel et omrids af dyrenes betydning i en religiøs kontekst (fra stammefolk til en kristen tradition) samt i en filosofisk og øko-kritisk optik. Min tese er, at dyrene i mange kulturer har ansporet mennesket til at se dem som bindeled mellem livet i denne verden og en transcendent væren. I animistiske og totemistiske ontologier er dyrene tæt forbundet med både mennesker og guder, hvorimod de i de arkaiske religioner indgår i et hierarki, hvor de, blandt andet gennem ofringer, udgør den medierende instans mellem mennesker og guder. Senere antager de hovedsagelig en metaforisk betydning som moralske sindbilleder. Vores egen tid oplever en stigende økologisk bevidsthed om dyrenes egenværdi, og markante filosoffer som Derrida og Agamben har stillet spørgsmål ved den traditionelle grænse mellem dyr og mennesker, som antropocentrismen har levet højt på i århundreder. Jeg hævder i den forbindelse, at der hersker en indbyrdes forbindelse mellem Agambens begreb om det nøgne liv og en øko-kritisk omsorg for dyret, som gør det til en ny form for immanent transcendens.

 

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Publiceret

2020-12-16

Citation/Eksport

Albinus, L. (2020). Dyrenes betydning i religion og filosofi – en oversigt. Religionsvidenskabeligt Tidsskrift, (71), 1–31. https://doi.org/10.7146/rt.v71i0.123486