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Toward Particular Declarations of Human Gifts: A Christian Reflection on Religions, Stories, and Untold Suffering

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In this article, the author suggests that religious leaders and communities should speak freely of faith in God and spirituality in their own particular ways as they advocate for human rights. While recognizing the destruction wrought by religious people, he recommends that religions be received as gifts that can cultivate people who far exceed the minimal expectations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He claims we do not expect too much when we ask religions and religious leaders to promote, teach, and uphold human rights, we expect too little. As a Pentecostal Christian ethicist, he argues for the significance of narrative, prophetic protest, and testimony as crucial aspects of receiving all people as gifts and of evoking empathy, action, and hope. Finally, the author warns against the political seizure of theistic and human rights discourse for the justification of military action, and he encourages the implementation of just peacemaking theory and practices.

Affiliations: 1: Professor, Theology and Ethics, Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA, USA


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