'To Serve Right and to Fight Wrong': Why Religion, Human Rights, and Human Dignity Need Each Other

Marta Cartabia and Andrea Simoncini, eds., Pope Benedict XVI’s Legal Speeches in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 106-122

Emory Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-387

13 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2015 Last revised: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by John Witte

John Witte

Emory University School of Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Pope Benedict XVI argued convincingly that Christianity and other religious communities not only laid the foundations for modern human rights, but remain essential allies in the struggle for human rights for all. Theories of human dignity without religious mooring, claims of rights without reciprocal moral duties, and public deliberation without religious voices included are all impoverished, the Pope argued. Religion and human rights, in particular, need each other. This Article offers an appreciative review of the Pope’s arguments and then offers further arguments about the necessary interaction of religion and human rights.

Keywords: Pope Benedict XVI; Religion and Human Rights; Religious Freedom; Human Dignity; Foundations of Rights; Second Vatican Council; United Nations; Religion in Public Life; Law and Religion

Suggested Citation

Witte, John, 'To Serve Right and to Fight Wrong': Why Religion, Human Rights, and Human Dignity Need Each Other (2015). Marta Cartabia and Andrea Simoncini, eds., Pope Benedict XVI’s Legal Speeches in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 106-122, Emory Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-387, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2705622

John Witte (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

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