Animals Return to the Sanctuary
Part of the 2009-2010 Liturgy Symposium
Institute of Sacred Music Great Hall, 409 Prospect Street
Refreshments for mind, body, and spirit will be served. Free and open to the public.
Christian worship is usually conceived as an act of thanksgiving and praise that involves humans and God. But has that always been the case? Or, maybe more directly, does that always have to be the way it is? Is there a place for animals in Christian worship? This presentation examines the history of animals in Christian worship rituals and sacred spaces. In addition, we will consider ways that animals might return to the sanctuary and take a specific look at the amazing growth in the number of “blessings of animals/pets” that has taken place in the last decade.
Dr. Laura Hobgood-Oster holds the Elizabeth Root Paden Chair in Religion at Southwestern University. Her teaching and research focus on the History of Christianity, Religion and Ecology, Animals and Religion, Ecofeminism and Women in the Christian Tradition. She also teaches in the Environmental Studies program.
Dr. Hobgood-Oster offers the following courses: Introduction to the Christian Tradition; Religion and Ecology; Heretics; Animals and Religion; Women and Religion; Upper-level Seminars in the Christian Tradition.
After receiving the M.Div. degree from Vanderbilt University and the Ph.D. degree from Saint Louis University, Dr. Hobgood-Oster taught for two years at California State University, Chico. She joined the faculty of Southwestern University in the fall of 1998. Laura lives with her husband, Jack, and their two canine buddies, Codi and Cezar.