Verbum et Ecclesia
On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982
DU TOIT, Cornel W.. Pursuing an understanding of animal consciousness: Implications for animal morality and a creaturely theology. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.36, n.3, pp.1-10. ISSN 2074-7705. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i3.1442.
The importance of animals in the evolutionary history of homo sapiens comes to the fore in light of an increasingly trans-human techno-scientific environment. New research on consciousness, and animal consciousness in particular, has prompted questions relating to animal rights, animal morality and the emergence of a creaturely theology and theological primatology. The possibility of understanding nonhuman animals is investigated with reference to notions like consciousness, thinking, awareness, language and communication, including the importance of emotion in communication. Special attention is given to the nature of animal communication as it came to the fore in bonobo and other chimpanzee research. Building on the notion of awareness and communication, the article focuses on the notion of animal morality and comments on some aspects of a creaturely theology.