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Dog-heads pose conundrum for medieval theologians

Edited as of 03:50
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BBC 4's Inside the Medieval Mind recently touched on a question that puzzled medieval missionaries: were the dog-headed people thought to inhabit distant lands worth saving? [mekoryuk/furry reddit]

These beings appeared to be human in most respects, except that they had the heads of dogs. The question was, did they have the souls of humans?

The answer came from theologian Ratramnus – better known for controversial arguments against transubstantiation – who argued that, despite the barking and shape of their heads, their laws, farming, domestication of animals and sense of decency marked them as descendents of Adam:

I do not see how this could be, if they had an animal and not a rational soul. For no-one can blush at indecency unless they have a certain recognition of decency. A group of moral, rational beings, living in a society bound by laws — this is humanity, not animality.


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So were not going to Yiff in hell? Damnit i was so excited for hellcon.

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With a name like Rat-Ram-nus, I think he's a bit biased :P

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Not only were the "Cynocephalus" saveable, at least one saint, St. Christopher, is traditionally portrayed as dog-headed.

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GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.