Prickles and Goo: Human Rights and Spirituality

18 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2019

See all articles by Dustin N. Sharp

Dustin N. Sharp

University of San Diego - School of Peace Studies

Date Written: October 18, 2019


Although there appears to be a growing interest in exploring the crossroads between spirituality and social change, spirituality remains a relatively obscure topic within mainstream international human rights. This article will explore what a more spiritual grounding for human rights might look like and how it might change perspectives and practices from the comparatively conventional and mainstream. I argue that viewing conventional human rights thinking, policy, and practice through the lens of spirituality can facilitate a better and more balanced reading of the human rights corpus, and ultimately, better and more sustainable human rights practice. While no panacea, spiritual perspectives that enhance a sense of interconnectedness and inclusionary identity may be one way of re-invigorating the human rights project at a time when it is said to be in a state of crisis.

Keywords: Spirituality, Religion, Contemplative Studies, Human Rights, Advocacy

Suggested Citation

Sharp, Dustin N., Prickles and Goo: Human Rights and Spirituality (October 18, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Dustin N. Sharp (Contact Author)

University of San Diego - School of Peace Studies ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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