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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Teachers at the movies

What we learned from animals in 2003's most spiritually literate movies

In the chapter on animals in our book Spiritual Literacy, we listed some lessons we've learned from our cats, such as: Live a rhythmic life. Stretch often. When you want something, be persistent. The night has many surprises. We recalled this exercise when we realized that some of the best films of 2003 are about animals as teachers.

All of the wisdom traditions acknowledge the important role of animals in the spiritual life. Francis of Assisi held them in such high regard that he addressed them as "brothers" and "sisters." In many stories and dreams, animals are presented as wise elders that give us insights into life's great mysteries.


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September issue

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