Chapter

The Difference That Dogs Make

Stephen H. Webb

in On God and Dogs

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780195152296
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849178 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152296.003.0005
The Difference That Dogs Make

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This chapter argues that that the language of mutual giving is a form of communication we develop with some animals that allows both parties to maintain their own identities. This discourse lets us understand the other even when we must do all of the talking. Of course, the difficulty is to articulate just how these giving relationships differ from economic transactions. Giving is a kind of rhetoric, a mode of communication that can be practiced even between those who do not share the same language, or who do not speak at all. This “language” is best examined in the everyday practices of dog lovers, but it can also be investigated in the much-maligned and discounted genre of fiction pertaining to animals.

Keywords: communication; animal literature; animal stories; rhetoric; dog lovers; giving

Chapter.  11156 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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