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Harmonizing Particularity of Religions and Universality of Human Rights: Critique of Traditional 'Top Down' Approach and Proposed Alternative

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This article is a response to the traditional discourse of human rights and religion as it addresses the charge of impossibility of universal human rights due to particularity of religious traditions. This traditional top-down approach is shown to be lacking in several respects. A bottom-up methodology is proposed, inspired by feminist thinkers. This alternative methodology does not separate religion but suggests that people with their religious convictions continuously redefine human rights. It includes recommendations for implementation. This process allows for more complete participation and support and has greater potential to lay the groundwork for the realization of human rights.

Affiliations: 1: Doctoral student, Theology, Ethics and Culture program, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 91711, USA


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