Catholicism, Human Rights and the Public Sphere
Queen's University Belfast - School of Law; University of Michigan Law School
June 17, 2012
International Journal of Public Theology, Vol. 5, pp.331-351, 2011
Queen's University Belfast Law Research Paper No. 2012-09
This article suggests that the scope and meaning of human rights, and its relationship to religion, is anything but settled, and that this gives an opportunity to those who support a role for religion in public life to intervene. Such intervention should address four main issues. First, it should ensure that judges engage in attempting to understand religious issues from a cognitively internal viewpoint. Secondly, it should articulat a justification for freedom of religion that fully captures the core of the significance of religious belief, and the importance of the religious principles in the public sphere. Thirdly, it should ensure engagement and dialogue between the churches and others on the meaning of human dignity, given its centrality to religious and secular perspectives on rights. Lastly, the churches should consider more carefully what it means to give ‘public reasons’ in the political and cultural context, and how it can engage in the process of ‘public reasoning’ regarding human rights.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Keywords: Catholic human rights, religious freedom, dignity, public text
Date posted: June 17, 2012 ; Last revised: January 30, 2015
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