A Theology of Hunting

“If you don’t hunt, you might not understand it. It’s a bit like explaining the Eucharist to a Hindu.”

Tony Jones gave a great PechaKucha presentation earlier this month at the Emergence Christianity conference in Memphis. His topic? Hunting:

I did not grow up hunting. My father is not a hunter, nor were my grandfathers. It is a chosen avocation of mine, often distasteful to those who share my vocation. I have yet to meet another PhD in theology in the field. Instead, I hunt with firefighters and Army Reservists and computer repairmen.

I hunt only birds, because hunting for me is all about the dog. It all starts with the dog. …

I cannot quite describe for you the allure of the hunt: the joy in watching a dog you’ve trained do exactly what you’d hoped; fighting back the heartbeat in your ears with the whistle of duck wings; the adrenaline rush with the cackle of a rooster taking flight; the satisfaction of bringing game to the table.

I cannot quite explain that fully-orbed experience. But I can tell you at least this much: if you don’t hunt, you might not understand it. It’s a bit like explaining the Eucharist to a Hindu. We are eating flesh and drinking blood, to be sure.

But it’s different than that.

It’s more sublime than that.

Read the whole thing

About Steve Knight

I love telling stories and throwing parties. I'm the co-founder and co-CEO of Sogo Media, a new kind of Christian television network on YouTube, and the co-editor of "In Good Faith," the religion and spirituality channel of The Good Men Project.

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  1. Dan Flowers says:

    I have hunted with many theologians and ministers over the years. Baptists, Presbeterians, Pentacostals, Lutherans and Catholics. All had a reverence for the experience of nature, All understood that the point of hunting is not killing but the experience and time spet with cherished friends. One kills occasionally to put food on the table and to be able to say that one has truly hunted. There is no fundamental disconnect between hunting and Christianity. Even Henry David Thoreau quoted Chaucer in saying “Ye have not of text (the Bible) pulled hen(ce) that which sayeth hunters be not Holy men…”

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