RELS366: Religion and Human Rights

One question we will ask is whether human rights need to presuppose the existence of God? Moving beyond this debate, we will look at how specific religious traditions have interfaced with the human rights revolution of the twentieth century. 

Religion intersects with human rights in fascinating ways. Some thinkers argue, for example, that human rights cannot be grounded apart from a belief in God. Are the major religious traditions supportive of individual human rights? Why might there be hesitation in some religious circles? Finally, we will focus more narrowly on religious human rights. There is a great deal of controversy regarding the proper limits of religious practice. How should a state best strike the balance between the rights of religious adherents and the rights of others?