I N T R O D U C T I O N
SPECIES, RELIGIOUS STUDIES,
AND THE AFFECTIVE TURN
What is the highest nature? Man is the highest nature. But I must
say that when I compare the interpretation of the highest nature
by the most advanced, the most fashionable and modish [?] school
of modern science, with some other teachings with which we are
familiar, I am not prepared to say that the lecture- room is more
scientiﬁc than the Church (cheers). What is the question now placed
before society with a glib assurance the most astounding? The
question is this— Is man an ape or an angel? (loud laughter.) My
lord, I am on the side of the angels (laughter and cheering).
— Disraeli, Church Policy
What is the trajectory of a newly considered humanities, one that
seeks to know itself not in opposition to its others, the “others” of
the human, but in continuity with them? . . . What kind of intellec-
tual revolution would be required to make man, and the various
forms of man, one among many living things, and one force among
many, rather than the aim and destination of all knowledges?
— Elizabeth Grosz, Becoming Undone
The Side of the Apes
In Reason for Hope, the primatologist Jane Goodall describes
a scene she witnessed many times in the forests of Gombe.
Goodall’s subjects, the chimpanzees of the Kakombe valley