The Image of God and Lab Rats

In Calls for Submissions by James Peterson1 Comment

Keri McFarlane (The King’s University)

Animals are more like human beings than any other part of creation, yet human beings are described uniquely as being in God’s image. What are the implications of such similarity and difference for lab rats, pets, hunting, factory farming, vegetarianism…? In this essay, Keri McFarlane asks how animals are distinct from humans. Do animals possess rationality and the capacity for consciousness? Should animals have rights? And then begins to explore the practical implications. Her essay is not intended as an exhaustive discussion, but rather as an invitation to engage some of the essential questions. Readers are encouraged to take up one of the insights or challenges, or maybe a related one that was not mentioned, and draft an article (typically about 5,000-8,000 words) that contributes to the conversation. These can be sent to Dr. McFarlane at who will send the best essays on to peer review. With expert advice in hand, we will then select the essays for publication in a theme issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. The lead editorial in the December 2013 issue of PSCF outlines what the journal looks for in article contributions. For full consideration for inclusion in the theme issue, manuscripts should be received electronically before 30 November 2014.

Looking forward to hearing your perspectives,

James C. Peterson
Past President of CSCA & Editor of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith


  1. Very interesting and important topic. I will be looking forward to the published essays. For me, legitimacy of the viewpoints will be weighed strongly by 2 factors. First, does the author show an understanding of ecological relationships and their implication? Second, is there acknowledgement that most of us are several cultural layers removed from intimate life-and-death involvement with daily natural processes and that our decisions can (and have) negatively affect those who still live in such relationships. Several decades ago I read the following statement in a book review in, if I correctly recall, the Journal of the ASA (now Perspectives): “The animal rights movement is not a cure for our alienation from nature; it is a symptom of the alienation.”

Leave a Comment