Biblical Foundations of Human Rights and Liberties
“Biblical Foundations of Human Rights and Liberties,” Jahrbuch für biblische Theologie (with Eric Wang)
25 Pages Posted: 31 May 2023
Date Written: 2023
This article, which is part of a symposium issue on law and religion in the Bible, sets out several clusters of biblical texts that lie at the foundation of the Western rights tradition. We group these texts into Old Testament and New Testament categories. We subdivide them into both general texts of legal and political theory concerning the “image of God,” covenant theory, religious freedom, as well as particular examples of procedural rights, economic and property rights, the rights of the poor, widows, orphans, slaves, debtors, and other vulnerable parties, and rights and duties surrounding sex, marriage, and family life. We also gesture anecdotally toward the use of these text clusters by later writers with no pretense of mapping their reception history.
Keywords: Law, religion, law and religion, Bible, human rights, liberty, religious freedom, procedural rights, economic rights, property rights, vulnerability, poor, slaves, sex, marriage, family
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