Does God Believe in Human Rights?: Essays on Religion and Human Rights

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Nazila Ghanea-Hercock, Alan Andrew Stephens, Raphael Walden
Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007 - Political Science - 272 pages
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Where can religions find sources of legitimacy for human rights? How do, and how should, religious leaders and communities respond to human rights as defined in modern International Law? When religious precepts contradict human rights standards - for example in relation to freedom of expression or in relation to punishments - which should trump the other, and why? Can human rights and religious teachings be interpreted in a manner which brings reconciliation closer? Do the modern concept and system of human rights undermine the very vision of society that religions aim to impart? Is a reference to God in the discussion of human rights misplaced? Do human fallibilities with respect to interpretation, judicial reasoning and the understanding of human oneness and dignity provide the key to the undeniable and sometimes devastating conflicts that have arisen between, and within, religions and the human rights movement? In this volume, academics and lawyers tackle these most difficult questions head-on, with candour and creativity, and the collection is rendered unique by the further contributions of a remarkable range of other professionals, including senior religious leaders and representatives, journalists, diplomats and civil servants, both national and international. Most notably, the contributors do not shy away from the boldest question of all - summed up in the book's title. The thoroughly edited and revised papers which make up this collection were originally prepared for a ground-breaking conference organised by the Clemens Nathan Research Centre, the University of London Institute of Commonwealth Studies and Martinus Nijhoff/Brill.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Complimentarity between Secular and Religious Perspectives of Human Rights
19
Religious Truths and Human Coexistence
29
Religion in a Democratic Society Safeguarding Freedom Acknowledging Identity Valuing Partnership
45
Conflicting Values or Misplaced Interpretations? Examining the Inevitability of a Clash between Religions and Human Rights
65
Religion and Human Rights with Special Reference to Judaism
89
Religion and Human Rights Redressing the Balance
107
Human Rights and Its Destruction of Right and Wrong
115
Human Rights Religion and the Secular Variant Configurations of Religions States and Societyies
147
Freedom of Religion and Belief in the Light of Recent Challenges Needs Clashes and Solutions
181
Triumphalism and Respect for Diversity
207
Phobias and Isms Recognition of Difference or the Slippery Slope of Particularisms?
211
Inciting Religious Hatred Balancing Free Speech and Religious Sensibilities in a MultiFaith Society
233
Theoretical and Institutional Framework The Soft Spot where Human Rights End and God Begins
259
Contributors
267
Copyright

A More Constructive Encounter A Bahai View of Religion and Human Rights
121

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About the author (2007)

Alan Stephens is a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales Australian Defence Force Academy. Previous appointments include principal adviser to the Australian Federal Parliament's Joint Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, official historian for the RAAF, contributing editor to Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, military history commentator on ABC television, and RAAF pilot.

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