Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Rights in the Western Tradition

“Rights,” in Erwin Fahlbusch, ed., The Encyclopedia of Christianity (Grand Rapids/Cambridge/ Leiden/Boston: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. and Brill, 2005), vol. 4, 701-709

Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 05-21

15 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2005 Last revised: 13 Nov 2014

John Witte Jr.

Emory University School of Law

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Rights, western tradition, liberties, natural law, human nature, universal rights

Suggested Citation

Witte, John, Rights in the Western Tradition. “Rights,” in Erwin Fahlbusch, ed., The Encyclopedia of Christianity (Grand Rapids/Cambridge/ Leiden/Boston: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. and Brill, 2005), vol. 4, 701-709; Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 05-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=753484

John Witte Jr. (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6980 (Phone)
404-712-8605 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Downloads
542
Rank
41,458
Abstract Views
2,461