본문 바로가기
  • Home

Animals, the protagonists of radical change in social ecosystems - Approaching Exodus 23:4-5

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2022, 28(1), pp.158-187
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2022.28.1.158
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : January 4, 2022
  • Accepted : February 17, 2022

Minsu Oh 1

1대신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The term ecology was first used by the German biologist E. Haeckel in 1866. Haeckel defines ecology as “the study of the interdependence and interaction between living organisms (animals and plants) and their environment (non-organic beings)”. Today, the concept of ecology has been expanded even further, expressing the relationship, interaction, and dialogue of all beings, not only with themselves but with each and every thing that exists. So today's ecology includes not only nature, but also human culture and society. While acknowledging the existential diversity of all beings, it acknowledges the dynamic unity. Therefore, it is required to recognize a new level of consciousness, namely the common destiny of nature and man. Exodus 23:4-5, in the context of pointing out the vulnerability of the Israeli legal community, shifts the interest of stakeholders from the courtroom to the common property of animals (livestock). The courtroom, which is easily exposed to absurdity and manipulation due to collective selfishness and the intervention of financial power, creates a rift in community ties and is in danger of destroying solidarity. The animal protection regulations in this text are out of context. It shows that the crisis of division in the legal community can be actively resolved by rescue of endangered animals. The text puts the crisis of the animal kingdom side by side with the crisis within the social community. And it suggests that people can restrain their own desires and take active actions toward cows and donkeys that are in danger of being neglected as a ‘place of community restoration’. In addition, through this, animals as individuals in a human-led society are highlighted as the protagonists of radical social change. A change in the perception of animals or a change in the way humans behave toward animals is forming the basis for a better human or personal society. The human and animal kingdoms are autonomous but interdependent. When affirming interdependence, the right to anthropocentric superiority is denied.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.