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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Martin Luther Insists that the Mouse is a Divine Creature. Ed. Dr. Chapman Chen

Admittedly, Martin Luther is largely humanocentric in his view of God’s goals in creation. To Luther, creation is a lesson in God’s providence; it "plainly teaches that God created all these things in order to prepare a house and an inn, as it were, for the future man" (Note 1).

Nonetheless, the same man also asserts that all animals, including human beings, derive their life from God, and recognizes that Hebrew word for soul -- nephesh or nefesh (נפש) -- denotes all animal life that lives and breathes (LW 22.30, 22.37, 28.191). He also insists that even the mouse is a "divine creature", beautiful in form, with "suchpretty feet and such delicatehair’ that it must have been created with some plan in view (LW 1.52).


1. Martin Luther,Luther's Works, ed. JaroslavPelikan (Saint Louis:Concordia, 1958), vol. 13, p. 112. References to this Englishtranslation of his collected worksare hereafter abbreviated in the form LW volume number (e.g. for thiscase LW 1.47).


Clough, David. 'The Anxietyof the Human Animal: Martin Luther on Non-human Animalsand Human Animality.' in Creaturely Theology: On God, Humans and Other Animals. Edited by Celia Deane-Drummond and David Clough. London: SCM Press, 2009, 41-60.

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