Human Rights & Religion: A Reader

ISBN 13: 9781902210940

Human Rights & Religion: A Reader

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The relationship between religion and human rights is complex. The United Nations' 1948 Declaration of Human Rights arose from the quest to define basic human dignities in the face of extreme cultural and religious persecution. Religion as a cultural phenomenon continues to manifest itself as a force for social and political conflict, institutionalized violence and repression. Yet religions also promote ideals of harmonious living with traditions that enrich contemporary understandings of international human rights with models of love, universal respect and justice. HUMAN RIGHTS AND RELIGION: A READER brings together an outstanding range of sources in a single volume to deal with these and related questions. With cutting-edge theoretical perspectives and reflections on future prospects, the volume includes critical case studies on human rights and the world's religions in a political context and addresses the following questions: What are the critical issues when thinking about religion and human rights? Why do cultural and religious differences present such challenges to international consensus on human rights? Can universal human rights ever be implemented in a world of particular cultural and religious identities? This book is an invaluable and accessible guide to a field of critical importance.

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About the Author:

Liam Gearon is reader in the Faculty of Education at the University of Surrey Roehampton, London, where he was previously senior lecturer. He has published widely in the fields of religion and literature, including the critically acclaimed edited work, "English Literature, Theology and the Curriculum", which is highly regarded as one of the major texts in this field and has a substantial chapter on Brian Moore. He lives in Somerset in the United Kingdom.

Review:

“The volume is clearly designed as a teaching aid. It offers generous editorial introductions to each section, copious bibliographies, lists of relevant websites, boxes illustrating important case material, key words at the head of each chapter...It would probably be of greatest interest to students in Religious Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Law and the Sociology of Religion, but practitioners in human rights organisations would also find it useful as a work of reference. This is an authoritative and exceptionally wide-ranging collection that deserves a place in every library.”  —Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies



“This is a valuable collection of recent theory and current practice in the field of human rights and religion. Almost all the contributions are good; many are outstanding. It contains important source materials for A-level students and undergraduates in philosophy, social ethics and religious studies and will be a significant resource for teachers in these fields. The collection is well structured and the Editor's general and sectional introductions contribute significantly to the accessibility of the material.”  —British Journal of Religious Education



“Guided by a vision of the importance of collaboration between academic inquiry and human rights praxis, Dr. Liam Gearon has designed this model anthology for courses and reflection on persistent and emerging human rights issues that foreground tensions between the universality of human rights norms and the particularity of many religious traditions and their respective norms for human behavior.”  —From the Foreword by Sumner B. Twiss, Distinguished Professor of Human Rights, Ethics, and Religion, Florida State University; Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, Brown University

“This timely publication contains excellent resources for information, debate and further study, and can be drawn upon with much benefit by students, researchers and anyone passionately interested in and committed to the advancement of human rights. A valuable contribution to current human rights debates, this book deserves to be widely used and consulted.”  —Professor Ursula King, University of Bristol



“Writings in Human Rights & Religion illuminate, from disparate perspectives, the sometimes harmonious but often contentious contribution that religious thought and practice offer to human rights. By bringing together authors from a broad spectrum of thought, the book and the editor add considerably to the intellectual climate surrounding the promotion and protection of human rights.”  —Dr Rita Maran, University of California at Berkeley



“This remarkable anthology provides a comprehensive and informed exploration of the issues surrounding human rights and religion. The selection of texts is perfect; and the commentary is intelligent and informed. I have no doubt that this will become the standard text in this area for many years to come. I cannot recommend it more highly.”  —Ian Markham, Dean of Hartford Seminary and Professor of Theology and Ethics



“Discussion of generic issues concerning human rights, cultural and religious traditions of world faiths, and the presentation of regional case studies of religious persecution... Human Rights & Religion provides a welcome and substantial contribution to the post-September 11 world.”  —Craig Lind, School of Law, University of Sussex

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