Keeping Faith with Human Rights

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248 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626162327 (1626162328)

248 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781626162334 (1626162336)

ISBN: 9781626162341

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September 2015
LC: 2014047104

Moral Traditions series


Table of Contents

Keeping Faith with Human Rights
Linda Hogan

Commended for the 2016 CPA Book Award for Faithful Citizenship of the Catholic Press Association
The human rights regime is one of modernity's great civilizing triumphs. From the formal promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 to the subsequent embrace of this declaration by the newly independent states of Africa, human rights have emerged as the primary discourse of global politics and as an increasingly prominent category in the international and domestic legal system. But throughout their history, human rights have endured sustained attempts at disenfranchisement.

In this provocative study, Linda Hogan defends human rights language while simultaneously reenvisioning its future. Avoiding problematic claims about shared universal values, Hogan draws on the constructivist strand of political philosophy to argue for a three-pronged conception of human rights: as requirements for human flourishing, as necessary standards of human community, and as the basis for emancipatory politics. In the process, she shows that it is theoretically possible and politically necessary for theologians to keep faith with human rights. Indeed, the Christian tradition—the wellspring of many of the ethical commitments considered central to human rights—must embrace its vital role in the project.
Linda Hogan is vice provost / chief academic officer and a professor of ecumenics at Trinity College Dublin. She is the author of Confronting the Truth: Conscience in the Catholic Tradition and coeditor of Feminist Catholic Theological Ethics: Conversations in the World Church.
David Cloutier, Kristin Heyer, and Andrea Vicini, SJ, Series Editors
"Hogan meticulously documents the last decade of scholarship highlighting the contributions of Arab, Asian, and Latin American delegations 'at every stage of the process'."—Springer Media

"Outstanding scholarship . . . Masterfully written."—Horizons

"An invaluable contribution to the politics, discourse, and field of human rights."—International Journal of Public Theology

"Hogan seeks to map a route towards the rehabilitation of the idea of human rights and proposes that it is 'both theoretically possible and politically necessary for theologians to keep faith with human rights.' She succeeds in her endeavour, going beyond her modestly stated ambition and delivering an impressive defence of what, arguably, is modernity's greatest achievement. . . . An important work. It deserves to cause pause for thought before delivery of the next papal address at the UN."—Irish Times

"Hogan makes a most valuable contribution to the cause of human rights worldwide and across cultures. She mounts a persuasive case for the universality of human rights, addressing postcolonial, feminist, and postmodern critiques. An essential work."—David Hollenbach, SJ, Pedro Arrupe Distinguished Research Professor, Senior Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University

"A book as deep as it is clear, one that gets under the skin of what human rights mean today—thoroughly contemporary but in a way that never loses sight of the power of the past to mold the present. A great achievement."—Conor Gearty, Director, Institute of Public Affairs, London School of Economics

Table of Contents

1. The Crisis of Legitimacy: Political and
Philosophical Perspectives

2. The Crisis of Meaning: Theological Perspectives

3. Ethical Formations: Constructing the Subject of
Human Rights

4. Building Discursive Bridges: Situated Knowledge, Embedded
Universalism, Plural Foundations

5. Resisting Culturalist Frameworks: Porous Communities,
Constructed Traditions

6. Resisting Gravity's Pull: Constructing Human Rights
through the Arts