Forthcoming Conference in France – Pt 2 – What Salvation for Animals ?

Samedi 9 octobre 2021, 9h- 17h30 Centre Sèvres, Paris

Scientific research into the sensitivity and intelligence of animals and actions to promote animal welfare raise many questions and emotions. What place should animals have in our Western societies? While the philosophical and legal debate is well under way, religions seem to be far removed from these concerns. Three days of colloquium scheduled for Saturday 29 May, Saturday 9 October and Saturday 27 November 2021 will seek to advance Christian theological reflection concerning the animal question.


8.45: Welcome/registration

9:15 – 9:30: Presentation of the conference

9:30 – 10:30 am :

Animal subjectivity in the light of neuroscience and ethology

P. Eric Charmetant SJ

Professor of philosophy (Centre Sèvres – Jesuit Faculties of Paris)

10:30 am – 11:30 am

The animal unconscious. Towards a psychology of depths

Florence Burgat

Philosopher, research director at INRAE, assigned to the Husserl Archives (ENS-CNRS-PSL)

11:30-11:45 break

11.45 a.m. – 12.45 p.m.

“We will all go to heaven… all the sheep and all the bandits… and even the dogs and even the sharks. Does the Bible confirm Michel Polnareff’s words?

Didier Luciani

Professor Emeritus (Faculty of Theology and RSCS Institute, Catholic University of Louvain)


Break – lunch



Saving the Animal: Nonhumans in Catholic Theology, Past and Future.

Dr Carmody Grey

Assistant Professor of Catholic Theology, Department of Theology and Religion, (University of Durham, UK)

14:45- 15:30

Animal Salvation in Modern Protestant Theology (*)

David Clough

Professor of Theological Ethics (University of Chester, UK)

15:30- 15:45 -Pause

15:45 -16:30

Man, animals and their possible salvation in an orthodox approach

Pietro Chiaranz

Librarian (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice), Doctor of Theology (Antonianum, Rome) and specialist in Orthodox theology of creation

16h30 – 17h15 Animals: what salvation, what resurrection?

Round table with Jean Gaillard (NDTP) and the afternoon speakers

17.15 – 17.30 Conclusion/synthesis colloquium 2 -Benoît Calmels

(* ) Simultaneous translation available in in person and remote sessions

Traditionally, Christian theology has made little room for animals, often reduced to their usefulness to human beings. Although Christian figures have testified to other relationships with animals, their voices have been little heard. For the past 50 years, animal rights activists, ethologists, philosophers, and even some theologians have taken a different view of animals. This conference will present the state of this research.

The morning will be devoted to research on animal subjectivity and even its unconscious, from a perspective linking ethology and philosophy. Then, we will see how biblical studies allow or not a new view of animals, based on texts that are often unknown.

In the afternoon, European Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox theologians will review research in animal theology over the past 50 years to develop a different conception of the place of animals in God’s plan and the economy of salvation.