The Divine Life of Animals: One Man’s Quest to Discover Whether the Souls of Animals Live On

April 14, 2012

Book review

This is a compelling and timeless vision of the relationship between humans and animals that will have you looking at animals with new eyes.

by Ptolemy Tompkins

Tompkins takes us on a journey through 20,000 years of history and myth in search of the answer to a single question: Do animals have souls? Anyone who has ever mourned the loss of a cherished pet has wondered if it survived the death of the body, or if it is doomed to disappear completely.

Both scientists and religious authorities have long scoffed at the idea of animals in heaven. Yet the question endures.

Tompkins embarks on a quest for the answer — taking us on a historical tour of the animal soul.

Equally at home with mainstream and alternative spiritual philosophies, he takes us from the savannas of Africa to the earth’s first cities, to the early days of the great faith traditions of both the East and West.

He shows that, despite what we may have been taught, the world’s various spiritual traditions all have profound things to say about the animal soul, if we simply know where to look.

Rescuing these ancient insights and blending them with vivid stories about animals today, he paints an inclusive picture of the cosmos as a place made up of both matter and spirit, in which animals are every bit as important, spiritually speaking, as the humans with whom they share the world.

This is a compelling and timeless vision of the relationship between humans and animals that will have you looking at animals with new eyes.

$22.99 hardcover — Crown Publishing Group, a division on Random House, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 4, August/September 2010.

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