Abstract

Unprecedented animal-protection sentiments correlated strongly with zealous Protestantism in late Renaissance England. This inadvertent side-effect of Calvinism undermined the proud human exceptionalism based on rationality while exalting other virtues--simplicity, perseverance, blind obedience, and faithful service--more evident in livestock than in their human masters. Embattled Puritans identified with other holy innocents oppressed by arbitrary human authorities, and Civil War radicals fantasized a renewed Edenic (often vegetarian) co-existence. Calvinist soteriology provoked invocations of the Golden Rule, in hopes that gratuitous kindness to animals -- including the imputation of virtues and therefore rights--might model similarly gratuitous kindness to human souls from God.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 1111-1148
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-08
Open Access
No
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