Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Cultures

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Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Cultures
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“A most welcome and timely scholarly exploration of a noble religious tradition whose message affirms the majesty and unity of life.”

Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat

“The only complete survey of Muslim traditions and attitudes toward animals. No work does so much to bring the reader abreast of human-animal relations in the Muslim world, or does so with such a combination of scholarship, sympathy and bold critique.”

Richard Buliet, Professor of History, Columbia University, and author of The Camel and the Wheel

“A marvelous piece of research … this book will help those interested in animals to learn about Islam, and those familiar with Islam probe into the animal realm.”

Christopher Key Chapple, Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University


From references to animals in the Qur’an to modern-day websites on Islamic vegetarianism, Richard C. Foltz presents the first comprehensive study of the role of animals in the Islamic tradition. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including classic texts in philosophy, literature and mysticism, Foltz traces the development of Islamic attitudes towards animals over the centuries and confronts the key ethical questions facing Muslims today.

Modern advances in science and technology and the increasing prevalence of techniques such as bioengineering and factory farming have forced many religions to reassess their traditional notions of animal rights and, as Foltz demonstrates, Muslims are increasingly asking their tradition to respond to such issues.

Scholarly yet accessible, this is an original and informative contribution to Islamic studies, and will be essential reading for anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, with an interest in the significance of religion and culture for the contemporary animal rights debate.

Richard C. Foltz is Visiting Scholar at Concordia University, Montreal. His previous works include Spirituality in the Land of the Noble: How Iran Shaped the World’s Religions, also published by Oneworld.

190 pages, 130 kroner

Author: Richard C. Foltz

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