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Human Rights: Religious Or Nonreligious?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with some milestones in more recent Western history. The development in human rights is characterised by interrelatedness of political and juridical praxis and political and juridical theory. The author divides this short survey into premodernity, including High Scholasticism and Late Scholasticism, Early Modernity, and Modernity. The chapter discusses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It explores the problem of the foundation of human rights, which reads as follows: which religious or nonreligious worldview offers a theory that will underpin all human rights? Do we have such a theory to which all countries that endorse the Declaration will assent? Or does each religious and nonreligious worldview have its own conception, so that we have not just one universal foundation, but a plurality of particular foundations?.

Keywords: early modernity; premodernity; religious rights; universal declaration of human rights; universal foundation



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