Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

The Image of God: Rights, Reason, and Order

21 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2010 Last revised: 15 Dec 2010

Jeremy Waldron

New York University School of Law

Date Written: November 30, 2010

Abstract

The idea that humans are created in the image of God is often cited as a foundation for human rights theory. In this paper, this use of imago dei is surveyed, and while the paper is basically favorable to this foundation, it draws attention to some difficulties (both theological and practical) that using imago dei as a foundation for human rights may involve. Also it explores the suggestion that the image of God idea may be more apt as a foundation for some rights rather than others. Its use in relation to political rights is specifically explored. The moral of the discussion is that foundations do make a difference. We should not expect that, if we simply nail this idea onto the underside of a body of human rights theory as a foundation, everything in the theory will remain as it is.

Keywords: death penalty, foundationalism, human rights, image of God, political liberalism, political rights, religion, rights, secularism

Suggested Citation

Waldron, Jeremy, The Image of God: Rights, Reason, and Order (November 30, 2010). NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 10-85. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1718054

Jeremy Waldron (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,012
Rank
17,250
Abstract Views
5,616