The Rights of God

Author: Irene Oh
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589014633
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Promoting Islam as a defender of human rights is laden with difficulties. Advocates of human rights will readily point out numerous humanitarian failures carried out in the name of Islam. In The Rights of God, Irene Oh looks at human rights and Islam as a religious issue rather than a political or legal one and draws on three revered Islamic scholars to offer a broad range of perspectives that challenge our assumptions about the role of religion in human rights. The theoretical shift from the conception of morality based in natural duty and law to one of rights has created tensions that hinder a fruitful exchange between human rights theorists and religious thinkers. Does the static identification of human rights with lists of specific rights, such as those found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, make sense given the cultural, historical, and religious diversity of the societies in which these rights are to be respected and implemented? In examining human rights issues of the contemporary Islamic world, Oh illustrates how the value of religious scholarship cannot be overestimated. Oh analyzes the commentaries of Abul A'la Maududi, Sayyid Qutb, and Abdolkarim Soroush—all prominent and often controversial Islamic thinkers—on the topics of political participation, religious toleration, and freedom of conscience. While Maududi and Qutb represent traditional Islam, and Soroush a more reform and Western-friendly approach, all three contend that Islam is indeed capable of accommodating and advocating human rights. Whereas disentangling politics and culture from religion is never easy, Oh shows that the attempt must be made in order to understand and overcome the historical obstacles that prevent genuine dialogue from taking place across religious and cultural boundaries.

New Rights Advocacy

Author: Paul J. Nelson
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589012054
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
After World War II dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emerged on the global scene, committed to improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable people. Some focused on protecting human rights; some were dedicated to development, aimed at satisfying basic economic needs. Both approaches had distinctive methods, missions, and emphases. In the 1980s and 90s, however, the dividing line began to blur. In the first book to track the growing intersection and even overlap of human rights and development NGOs, Paul Nelson and Ellen Dorsey introduce a concept they call "new rights advocacy." New rights advocacy has at its core three main trends: the embrace of human rights-based approaches by influential development NGOs, the adoption of active economic and social rights agendas by major international human rights NGOs, and the surge of work on economic and social policy through a human rights lens by specialized human rights NGOs and social movement campaigns. Nelson and Dorsey draw on rich case studies of internationally well-known individual NGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, CARE, ActionAid, and Save the Children, and employ perspectives from fields of human rights, international relations, the sociology of social movements and of complex organizations, and development theory, in order to better understand the changes occurring within NGOs. In questioning current trends using new theoretical frameworks, this book breaks new ground in the evolution of human rights-development interaction. The way in which NGOs are reinventing themselves has great potential for success--or possibly failure--and profound implications for a world in which the enormous gap between the wealthiest and poorest poses a persistent challenge to both development and human rights.

Religious Ethics in a Time of Globalism

Author: E. Bucar
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137273038
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
This book contains essays on current projects from several rising figures in religious ethics, collected into a field-shaping anthology of new work. As a whole, the book argues that religious ethics should make cultural and moral diversity central to its analysis. This can include three main aspects, in various combinations: first, describing and interpreting particular ethics on the basis of historical, anthropological, or other data; second, comparing such ethics (in the plural), which requires rigorous reflection on the methods and tools of inquiry; and third, engaging in normative argument on the basis of such studies, and thereby speaking to particular moral controversies, as well as contemporary concerns about overlapping identities, cultural complexity and plurality, universalism and relativism, and political problems regarding the coexistence of divergent groups.

Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist World

Author: Grace Y. Kao
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589017609
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
In 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which declared that every human being, without “distinction of any kind,” possesses a set of morally authoritative rights and fundamental freedoms that ought to be socially guaranteed. Since that time, human rights have arguably become the cross-cultural moral concept and evaluative tool to measure the performance—and even legitimacy—of domestic regimes. Yet questions remain that challenge their universal validity and theoretical bases. Some theorists are ”maximalist” in their insistence that human rights must be grounded religiously, while an opposing camp attempts to justify these rights in “minimalist” fashion without any necessary recourse to religion, metaphysics, or essentialism. In Grounding Human Rights in a Pluralist World, Grace Kao critically examines the strengths and weaknesses of these contending interpretations while also exploring the political liberalism of John Rawls and the Capability Approach as proposed by economist Amartya Sen and philosopher Martha Nussbaum. By retrieving insights from a variety of approaches, Kao defends an account of human rights that straddles the minimalist–maximalist divide, one that links human rights to a conception of our common humanity and to the notion that ethical realism gives the most satisfying account of our commitment to the equal moral worth of all human beings.

Does Human Rights Need God

Author: Elizabeth M. Bucar
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 9780802829054
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted in 1945, French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain observed, "We agree on these rights, providing we are not asked why. With the 'why,' the dispute begins." The world since then has continued to agree to disagree, fearing that an open discussion of the divergent rationales for human rights would undermine the consensus of the Declaration. Is it possible, however, that current failures to protect human rights may stem from this tacit agreement to avoid addressing the underpinnings of human rights? This consequential volume presents leading scholars, activists, and officials from four continents who dare to discuss the "why" behind human rights. Appraising the current situation from diverse religious perspectives -- Jewish, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim, Confucian, and secular humanist -- the contributors openly address the question whether God is a necessary part of human rights. Despite their widely varying commitments and approaches, the authors affirm that an investigation into the "why" of human rights need not devolve into irreconcilable conflict. Contributors: Khaled Abou El Fadl Barbra Barnett Elizabeth M. Bucar Jean Bethke Elshtain Robert P. George Vigen Guroian Louis Henkin Courtney W. Howland David Novak Sari Nusseibeh Martin Palouš Robert A. Seiple Max L. Stackhouse Charles Villa-Vicencio Anthony C. Yu

Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights

Author: Abdulaziz Sachedina
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199741697
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
In 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the International Declaration of Human Rights, a document designed to hold both individuals and nations accountable for their treatment of fellow human beings, regardless of religious or cultural affiliations. Since then, the compatibility of Islam and human rights has emerged as a particularly thorny issue of international concern, and has been addressed by Muslim rulers, conservatives, and extremists, as well as Western analysts and policymakers; all have commonly agreed that Islamic theology and human rights cannot coexist. Abdulaziz Sachedina rejects this informal consensus, arguing instead for the essential compatibility of Islam and human rights. He offers a balanced and incisive critique of Western experts who have ignored or underplayed the importance of religion to the development of human rights, contending that any theory of universal rights necessarily emerges out of particular cultural contexts. At the same time, he re-examines the juridical and theological traditions that form the basis of conservative Muslim objections to human rights, arguing that Islam, like any culture, is open to development and change. Finally, and most importantly, Sachedina articulates a fresh position that argues for a correspondence between Islam and secular notions of human rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 21st Century

Author: Gordon Brown
Publisher: Open Book Publishers
ISBN: 1783742216
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
The Global Citizenship Commission was convened, under the leadership of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the auspices of NYU’s Global Institute for Advanced Study, to re-examine the spirit and stirring words of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The result – this volume – offers a 21st-century commentary on the original document, furthering the work of human rights and illuminating the ideal of global citizenship. What does it mean for each of us to be members of a global community? Since 1948, the Declaration has stood as a beacon and a standard for a better world. Yet the work of making its ideals real is far from over. Hideous and systemic human rights abuses continue to be perpetrated at an alarming rate around the world. Too many people, particularly those in power, are hostile to human rights or indifferent to their claims. Meanwhile, our global interdependence deepens. Bringing together world leaders and thinkers in the fields of politics, ethics, and philosophy, the Commission set out to develop a common understanding of the meaning of global citizenship – one that arises from basic human rights and empowers every individual in the world. This landmark report affirms the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and seeks to renew the 1948 enterprise, and the very ideal of the human family, for our day and generation.

If God Were a Human Rights Activist

Author: Boaventura de Sousa Santos
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804795037
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
We live in a time when the most appalling social injustices and unjust human sufferings no longer seem to generate the moral indignation and the political will needed both to combat them effectively and to create a more just and fair society. If God Were a Human Rights Activist aims to strengthen the organization and the determination of all those who have not given up the struggle for a better society, and specifically those that have done so under the banner of human rights. It discusses the challenges to human rights arising from religious movements and political theologies that claim the presence of religion in the public sphere. Increasingly globalized, such movements and the theologies sustaining them promote discourses of human dignity that rival, and often contradict, the one underlying secular human rights. Conventional or hegemonic human rights thinking lacks the necessary theoretical and analytical tools to position itself in relation to such movements and theologies; even worse, it does not understand the importance of doing so. It applies the same abstract recipe across the board, hoping that thereby the nature of alternative discourses and ideologies will be reduced to local specificities with no impact on the universal canon of human rights. As this strategy proves increasingly lacking, this book aims to demonstrate that only a counter-hegemonic conception of human rights can adequately face such challenges.