Vegetarianism, Veganism and Religion: Ancient Origins and Contemporary Features of an Ethical Worldview

Gefördert mit einer Doktorats- und einer PostDoc-Stelle vom SNF, 2024-2028.
The project will analyze the relationship between vegetarianism, veganism, and religion in two subprojects: (1) Animal’s Sentient Souls: A Systematic Comparison of the Ancient Indian and Greek Origins of Vegetarianism/s; and (2) Vegans and Vegetarians in Contemporary Switzerland: Climate Responsibility, Animal Welfare, and Meatfree Utopia. While both subprojects will follow specific cognitive interests, they will concur in investigating vegetarianism/s as “ethical worldview.” The project aims for a better understanding (1) of the religious-philosophical origins of vegetarianism in Antiquity, and (2), of the views that contemporary vegans and vegetarians hold on matters of religion, ethics, and spirituality. Connecting the contemporary rise of Vegetarianism/s in Switzerland with ancient philosophical justifications follows the rationale to find out how, in terms of global interconnected history, Ancient Greek and Indian ideas of non-violence, animal ethics, and, eventually, karma and rebirth, are received and reenacted. On a systematic level, the project seeks to explore how vegetarianism/s are more properly defined as “ethical worldviews,” taking shape less as a religious identity but as individual spirituality.