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1 The Complimentarity between Secular and Religious Perspectives of Human Rights

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Chapter Summary

There is the widespread sense that if religion does inculcate moral values, it is primarily in the area of moral responsibility and duties, rather than rights. Among the many suspicions is the belief that human rights is a fundamentally secular concept which religion has resisted from the outset. In this chapter, the author challenges the notion that human rights is a purely secular concept. It is argued that what we in the modern world try to safeguard by the concept of human rights was safeguarded in other ways through other concepts in the pre-modern world. The author suggests that what religion has to contribute is the capacity to open people's eyes and make them see other people, whoever they are, as fellow human beings. It is because of that fundamental moral grounding that we can look for a continuing development of human rights, entrenched and embodied in legal terms.

Keywords: human rights; moral values; religious perspectives; secular perspectives



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