Human dignity names a two-tier political ecology: one moral-political community whose members bear a special status of inviolability, and another larger community where violence and degradation are routine. Because ecological relations are never uni-directional, the routinized violence that “belongs” in interactions with nonhuman animals returns, normalizing violence across gendered, racialized, and politicized lines of human difference. An account of dignity that begins from creaturely vulnerability rather than anthropological exceptionalism not only better expresses key theological insights of the Christian tradition, it also resists the repressed and disavowed violence generated by prevalent accounts of dignity.
Eric D Meyer. "The Political Ecology of Dignity: Human Dignity and the Inevitable Returns of Animality." Modern Theology Vol. 33 Iss. 4 (2017) p. 549 - 569 ISSN: 1468-0025