Should Christians hunt animals?

A book of essays offers an array of perspectives for and against.

I  have yet to meet another theologian in a duck blind. It’s not that I haven’t tried. But the pastime of sport hunting, pursued by over 12 million Americans annually, does not seem very popular among clergy and academic theologians, especially those of the progressive variety. Bracy V. Hill II and John B. White, both of whom teach at Baylor Univer­sity, aim to amend the dearth of theological reflection on hunting with this volume, but part of what they uncover explains exactly why so few progressives appreciate hunting.

First, a definition. “Sport hunting” basically means hunting that is not necessary for survival. Surely subsistence hunters still exist in remote corners of our planet, but they’re few and far between. Most of us who hunt do so for enjoyment and recreation, whether our goal is food on the table or a mount on the wall. We don’t need to hunt, we choose to hunt.

Hill and White divide their book into two sections. The first, which they title “Descriptive,” contains essays from a wide variety of scholars reflecting on various historical perspectives on hunting, from how the biblical figure of Nimrod was portrayed in the Middle Ages to a fascinating consideration of C. S. Lewis’s disdain for hunting as conveyed in his science fiction novel Out of the Silent Planet.