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

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  88 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
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 about the animal soul. Do animals survive the death of the body, or are they doomed to disappear completely when they leave this world behind? Both scientists and religious authorities ha
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Joe Winn
Jan 21, 2014 Joe Winn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I rarely write reviews but I have a lot to say about this book. Let me start with the fact that before I read this book I firmly believed in animals' souls. I did not need convincing. I realize this story is about one man's journey of discovery and maybe that is what bothered me. Many reviewers seemed to struggle with the subject matter of the first half of the book. I did not but the author's logic frequently escapes me. The author dismisses Eastern religion almost completely although it has qu ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Wherever you are going, they are going too." -James Herriot

This book is part philosophy, part religion, part biology. Tompkins attempts to answer the question that any animal lover has asked themselves at one time or another: Do animals have souls?

He looks at this question through the lens of Greek philosophers, Judaism, modern Christianity and The Buddha, among others. He also explores humanity's relationship with animals from prehistoric times up to the present. The result is a fascinating lo
Rosemary Biggio
Nov 03, 2010 Rosemary Biggio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author's thesis is animals share in the divine,and the man in his role as steward leads animals across a bridge to the eternal. Tompkins borrows from many disciplines and from many religious traditions to support and develop his premise. Academic in style and tone, it maybe somewhat daunting for the average reader. The personal elements throughout the book will appeal to anyone who has loved an animal.
Oct 07, 2010 Kapila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mindfulness

It is always, always encouraging to know that there are people out there, like PT, in the world who feel similarly about 'animals' as I do, alienated as I feel in most respects from the way people around me view them. I came from a family which never understood my own affection for animals (dogs, at the time), and who, perhaps have just grown used to it, and chalked it up to just another of the ways in which I am 'strange.' I recently told a co-worker who asked me to sponsor her for a Breast Can
Anita George
2.5 stars. I didn't like this one and was often bored (it took me a long time to read it!); that's remarkable given my love of animals and keen interest in philosophy and issues that are the focus of the book. The subtitle--"One Man's Quest to Discover Whether the Souls of Animals Live On"--is not really addressed, or at least not in any detailed or sustained manner.
Dec 03, 2012 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When my son was little I took him to a pet blessing at a church with our dog. The priest made a point of telling everyone that pets don't go to heaven. Mind you, no one had asked! There were more than a few crushed kids. Since then I've been very interested in how others answer that question.

The first half of this book really took me awhile to get through. There was a lot of philosophy and history. The second half had many stories of individual animals, which I really enjoyed. On the whole I th
Elly Sands
Aug 22, 2011 Elly Sands rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I confess that I only read the first half in it's entirety and just perused the rest. I just didn't like it. I'm not even sure why I bought the book other than I've read others by this author which I enjoyed and felt curious to see his take on animals. I mean regardless if an animal has a soul (which the author never seems to give his definition of what he "believes" the soul is) or is soul-less it does not diminish my admiration and love for them. This book was choppy, sloppy, a bit self center ...more
Pamela Minick
Mar 10, 2015 Pamela Minick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Will have to read it again to fully digest the information and also make sure I didn't miss anything. Very good.
Domenique Camilleri
Sep 26, 2010 Domenique Camilleri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-2011
This was a good book because it relates to life and how man is similar to animals in many ways. This took me a while to read because i had to understand everything i was reading. Parts of the book really made me think about our life. Even though it has a dog on the cover it is not really about just dogs, it has many many animals. This is a book that if you wanted to know about how we are like animals or want some history then this is a good book for you.
Elizabeth Eiler
Mar 13, 2013 Elizabeth Eiler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most comprehensive book about the history of animals across spiritual traditions from Stone Age humans to the present day, across cultures, religions, and the ages. It is immensely readable and enjoyable and is a fantastic guidebook to the shifting roles of animals in spiritual systems codified by humans.
Aug 17, 2013 Glenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Divine Life of Animals speaks to our age old questions regarding what and why something seems off here in our earthly experience, and speaks to our longing to "get back into the garden". The author delves deeply into the experience we share here on earth with other creatures and the earth itself.
Rebecca Jackson
Not at all what I expected when I purchased the book. It was interesting, but was a little "deeper" than I had anticipated. And it ended up not being quite what I was looking for. However, it did give me a lot to think about, and perhaps I will reread it at a later date and get more into it.
JoAnn Jordan
Oct 22, 2010 JoAnn Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book on the souls of animals. There is a great deal of information included in an extremely readable form. The book explores the question of what happens to animals after death.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in animals and the after-life.
Amy Turner
Parts of this are very good, but other parts don't measure up. Some interesting observations about how in other cultures (especially "primitive" ones) animals are seen as fellow souls.
Maryellen Dalberg
I really needed to read this book after losing my beloved dog of almost 15 years.
Lindsay L. Martin
Jul 02, 2012 Lindsay L. Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out all my thoughts on books I've read:
Jan 12, 2015 Lysa rated it liked it
A little too scientific for me
Nov 05, 2014 Maria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Could not finish the book!
Liviu Liviu
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Feb 09, 2016
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2016
Robert rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2016
Ms. Hanson
Ms. Hanson rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2016
Alina marked it as to-read
Dec 22, 2015
Ann Insley
Ann Insley rated it liked it
Dec 06, 2015
Mike Ford
Mike Ford rated it it was ok
Nov 21, 2015
Masha marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2015
Elizabeth Sanchez
Elizabeth Sanchez rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2015
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Sep 30, 2015
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Aug 23, 2015
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