Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dogs: God's Worst Enemies?

Fascinating paper from the Journal of Human-Animal Studies by Sophia Menache, University of Haifa in Israel.
In a broad survey of negative and hostile attitudes toward canines in pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, the author posits that warm ties between humans and canines have been seen as a threat to the authority of the clergy and indeed, of God. Exploring ancient myth, Biblical and Rabbinical literature, and early and medieval Christianity and Islam, she explores images and prohibitions concerning dogs in the texts of institutionalized, monotheistic religions, and offers possible explanations for these attitudes, including concern over disease.


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