Rights in the Western Tradition
John Witte Jr.
Emory University School of Law
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHRISTIANITY, Vol. 4, Grand Rapids/Leiden: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company/E. J. Brill
This Article provides a brief analysis of the main stages of Western theories of rights and liberties: (1) classic Roman views of objective and subjective rights and liberties; (2) medieval Catholic views of rights and liberties rooted in natural law and corporate charters; (3) early modern Protestant views of rights and liberties rooted in biblical commands and natural orders; (4) modern Enlightenments views grounded in human nature and social contracts, and reflected in constitutional texts and cases; and (5) the proliferation and diversification of universal rights talk in the aftermath of World War II.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: Rights, western traditionAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 6, 2005
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