Saints and Animals

Podcast-style audio course -
Length: 5 hrs
Professor, Franciscan School of Theology
(2 customer reviews)
Includes Free Study Guide
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00

Saints and Animals

Podcast-style audio course -
Length: 5 hrs
Professor, Franciscan School of Theology
(2 customer reviews)
Includes Free Study Guide
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00

St. Francis of Assisi has for decades been depicted in illustrations, paintings and even garden birdbaths as a saint with a love for animals.

But he is not the only Christian saint associated with animals. Early Christian martyrs, the Desert Fathers of Egypt, monks and hermits from Ireland to Italy, Belgian nuns and saintly French noblemen all have fascinating accounts of animals as part of their legends. The tendency is to either naively accept all these accounts at face value, or dismiss them outright as fables. However, neither approach is adequate. In this series of lectures you will approach these stories as hagiography, that is, stories of the saints intended to edify, to communicate a spiritual meaning to their audience.

These stories of saints and anim

St. Francis of Assisi has for decades been depicted in illustrations, paintings and even garden birdbaths as a saint with a love for animals.

But he is not the only Christian saint associated with animals. Early Christian martyrs, the Desert Fathers of Egypt, monks and hermits from Ireland to Italy, Belgian nuns and saintly French noblemen all have fascinating accounts of animals as part of their legends. The tendency is to either naively accept all these accounts at face value, or dismiss them outright as fables. However, neither approach is adequate. In this series of lectures you will approach these stories as hagiography, that is, stories of the saints intended to edify, to communicate a spiritual meaning to their audience.

These stories of saints and animals in this course are designed to offer people today an idea of how earlier Christian generations understood their fellow creatures as significant, communicating important messages of their Creator.

Now You Know Media is thrilled to offer this course as a video series plus written guide on CD. You can see Br. William Short in action as he retells these extraordinary legends on a set of 4 DVDs, which include images, maps and other visual aids for the finest educational and entertainment experience. An audio-only version on CD is also available.

Your Free Electronic Study Guide! When you order this course, we will send you a free electronic study guide that you can access in 3 convenient ways:

1) You can check your order confirmation email. It will include a link that enables you to download your guide.
2) The back of your program package also contains a copy of this link. You can access your guide by simply entering this URL into your browser.
3) Your case of CDs or DVDs will contain a copy of your electronic guide on CD. Simply insert this disc into your computer’s CD/DVD drive to access your guide.

$10.95$19.95

Br. William Short, O.F.M, S.T.L., S.T.D., is Professor of Christian Spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, California, where he has also served as President and Academic Dean. He was previously Professor of Christian Spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union and Director of the St. Francis Retreat Center in California. A Franciscan friar, he received a B.A. from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. in Philosophical and Systematic Theology, and the S.T.L. and S.T.D. degrees from the Gregorian University in Rome. In July of 2014, Br. Short received the 25th Franciscan Institute Medal.

Br. Short has dedicated his scholarly work to a retrieval of the Franciscan tradition of spirituality and theology. He is co-editor of the three-volume series of English translations of all the documents written by St. Francis of Assisi and his earliest biographers, Francis of Assisi: Early Documents. He has published works on the history of the Franciscan movement and its spirituality.  

Speaker Photo by Scott Anger

Praise for Bill Short

“Bill Short brings a lifetime of scholarly work combined with a lifetime of applying the principles of the Franciscan Rule of Life to his daily existence. Thus, [his presentations are] shot through with the wit and wisdom.”
– Margaret Carney, OSF, President Emerita, St. Bonaventure University

“Bill Short is one of the most prolific and knowledgeable scholars of the entire Franciscan tradition as evidenced by his previous lecture series, articles, and books on the Franciscan movement. As those living in the Middle Ages would say, to listen to Bill is to sit at the feet of a Master.”
– Fr. Steven J. McMichael, OFM Conv., University of Saint Thomas

“Brother Bill Short has dedicated his Franciscan life to make accessible the rich spiritual resources of the early Franciscan tradition. Through his sharp translation skills, insight, and heartfelt humor, Francis of Assisi speaks to us again today.”
– J. A. Wayne Hellmann OFM Conv.

  • Introduction
  • Peace with Animals in Scripture and Legend
  • Wild Beasts Serve and Obey
  • Animals Atone for Damage
  • Hunted Animals & Their Saintly Protectors
  • Saints and Fish
  • Winged Creatures & the World of the Spirit
  • Serpents, Dragons and Demons
  • A Tradition of Devilish Beasts
  • The Devil and Wild Beasts
  • Wild Beasts in Early Christian Tradition
  • A Christian Vision of Saints and Animals

2 reviews for Saints and Animals

  1. Anonymous

    2015 Spring Survey

    A retreat with Bill Short, OFM was thought provoking and gave insights from a Franciscan perspective, which I value.

  2. Margaret

    One reason why being Catholic is unique and reaches back so far.

    One reason why being Catholic is unique and reaches back so far.

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