Calvin College recently hosted its 11th Animals and the Kingdom of God lecture series. The ongoing event includes lectures, panel discussions, and a potluck dinner shared by both speakers and attendees. Christopher Carter, PhD, presented this year’s keynote: “Being Human Takes Practice: Toward a Liberative Theological Anthropology.”
In his talk, Carter examines how traditional Christian cultures shaped heavily by oppressive hierarchal relationships between humans and non-human animals are inconsistent with the vision shared in Scripture. He concludes the presentation by describing a process of being human that recasts the God-human encounter in ways leading to the collective flourishing of all Creation.
Carter is an assistant professor of theology at the University of San Diego, a Faith in Food fellow at Farm Forward, a member of CreatureKind’s North American Advisory Council, and an assistant pastor at Pacific Beach UMC. His work explores the intersectional oppressions experienced by people of color, the environment, and animals.
In a previously-published article, lecture series organizer Matthew C. Halteman, PhD, explained his college’s role in championing these conversations about food ethics.
“What makes Calvin different from many Christian colleges is our deliberate engagement with issues that Christians are often tempted to avoid. The aim [of these lectures] is to invite all comers—omnivores, vegans, and everyone in between—into a conversation about why our attitudes and actions toward creation should matter for Christians.”