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Saints and Animals

  • Professor, Franciscan School of Theology
12 Lectures (4 DVDs or 5 CDs) Including Electronic Study Guide

Video DVD Set:

List: $209.95

Sale: $49.95

Audio CD Set:

List: $119.95

Sale: $29.95

Audio MP3:

List: $119.95

Sale: $29.95

Price From:

List: $119.95

Sale: $29.95

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St. Francis of Assisi has been for decades been depicted in illustrations, paintings and even garden birdbaths as a saint with a love for animals.

But he is not the only Christian saint associated with animals. Early Christian martyrs, the Desert Fathers of Egypt, monks and hermits from Ireland to Italy, Belgian nuns and saintly French noblemen all have fascinating accounts of animals as part of their legends. The tendency is to either naively accept all these accounts at face value, or dismiss them outright as fables. However, neither approach is adequate. In this series of lectures you will approach these stories as hagiography, that is, stories of the saints intended to edify, to communicate a spiritual meaning to their audience.

These stories of saints and animals in this course are designed to offer people today an idea of how earlier Christian generations understood their fellow creatures as significant, communicating important messages of their Creator.

Now You Know Media is thrilled to offer this course as a video series plus written guide on CD. You can see Br. William Short in action as he retells these extraordinary legends on a set of 4 DVDs, which include images, maps and other visual aids for the finest educational and entertainment experience. An audio-only version on CD is also available.


With this order you will receive, free of charge, a detailed Electronic Study Guide. With your confirmation email, you will receive a link that will take you to this Electronic Study Guide, which includes outlines for each topic, review questions and suggested readings for further study. The link to access this Electronic Study Guide will also be included on the case of your CDs or DVDs. You are allowed to print up to 7 copies of your guide. Simply click on the link, or type it into your browser, to access the file.

About Your Presenter

Br. William Short is a Franciscan Friar the former President and Academic Dean of the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley. He is currently Professor of Christian Spirituality at the Graduate Theological Union and Director of the St. Francis Retreat Center in California.

After graduating from the University of San Francisco, he completed an M.A. in Philosophical and Systematic Theology before receiving the S.T.L. and S.T.D. degrees from the Gregorian University in Rome. In July of 2014, Br. Short received the 25th Franciscan Institute Medal.

Br. Short has dedicated his scholarly work to a retrieval of the Franciscan tradition of spirituality and theology. He is co-editor of the three-volume series of English translations of all the documents written by St. Francis of Assisi and his earliest biographers: Francis of Assisi: Early Documents. He has published works on the history of the Franciscan movement and its spirituality.

Speaker Photo by Scott Anger

Topic Titles

  • Introduction
  • Peace with Animals in Scripture and Legend
  • Wild Beasts Serve and Obey
  • Animals Atone for Damage
  • Hunted Animals & Their Saintly Protectors
  • Saints and Fish
  • Winged Creatures & the World of the Spirit
  • Serpents, Dragons and Demons
  • A Tradition of Devilish Beasts
  • The Devil and Wild Beasts
  • Wild Beasts in Early Christian Tradition
  • A Christian Vision of Saints and Animals

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One reason why being Catholic is unique and reaches back so far. Review by Margaret
One reason why being Catholic is unique and reaches back so far.
(Posted on 11/23/2015)

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