Do Animals Have Souls?Posted: November 5, 2009
This is the main article from Karen Litzinger’s November e-newsletter. She is the author of “Heal Your Heart”, the topic of the post immediately previous.
Do animals go to heaven? Do animals have souls?
With today being All Souls Day in the Christian tradition, I thought it would be timely to ponder these questions that animal lovers often struggle with upon the death of a beloved pet. And I would like to bring in a couple other religious perspectives too. This is just a brief glimpse into the topic since I am certainly no theologian. Upon doing some web searching and reading, I saw many perspectives on this topic.
While I read that “most theologians” would say that animals do not have souls, many theologians and writers have made compelling cases to the contrary. One of the first buyers of my Heal Your Heart CD, generously sent me the book, Will I See My Dog in Heaven by Jack Wintz. Among other things, this Franciscan Friar posits that the “very good” phrase in Genesis 1:31, “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good” is an argument for God’s desire to have both classes of creatures share in the original Garden of Paradise, and therefore, heaven. One of my earliest book reviewers, animal journalist, Michelle West, encouraged me to include the web site www.EternalAnimals.com in my CD booklet since it was helpful to her in addressing these questions. My personal copy of Pet Loss: A Spiritual Guide by Eleanor Lee Harris (note author complete name if searching) includes views on pet death by most of the worlds religions. Here are two brief statements from two religious traditions that loosely address this question from the book, In Praise of Animals, collected by Edward Searl.
Bhagavad Gita 9.7 – All creatures go forth from Me and all return unto Me
Buddist Prayer – May all sentient beings be happy, may all sentient beings be peaceful, may all sentient beings be free from suffering.
Personally I expect to have continued communication and contact with all creatures meaningful to me that have died, just as I already do.
Please visit Karen’s website at www.HealFromPetLoss.com and sign up for her monthly e-newsletter of information about animals and updates on her CD, “Heal Your Heart”.