Theology and the Boundary Discourse of Human Rights

Book, 2010, 243 pp
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What are human rights? Can theology acknowledge human rights discourse? Is theological engagement with human rights justified? What place should this discourse occupy within ethics?

Ethna Regan seeks to answer these questions about human rights, Christian theology, and philosophical ethics. The main purpose of this book is to justify and explore theological engagement with human rights. Regan illustrates how that engagement is both ecumenical and diverse, citing the emerging engagement with human rights discourse by evangelical theologians in response to the War on Terror. The book examines where the themes and concerns of key modern theologians - Karl Rahner, J. B. Metz, Jon Sobrino, and Ignacio Ellacuria - converge with the themes and concerns of those committed to the advancement of human rights. Regan also critically engages with the "disdain" for rights discourse that is found in the postliberal critiques of John Milbank and Stanley Hauerwas.

This interdisciplinary volume will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of systematic theology, theological ethics, human rights, religion and politics, and political theory.
"The language of human rights is heavily contested these days, and many arguments lobbied against such are coming from Christian post-liberals like Stanley Hauerwas and John Milbank. Can theology, with integrity, lift up human rights? Ethna Regan contends that human rights discourse is not only possible, but essential in the Church's task to be with the sinned-against. Looking to theologians like J.B. Metz and Jon Sobrino, Regan invites us to discover a rights discourse that enables us to hear and walk with "the world tribe of the dispossessed." - Steve Heinrichs, Director, Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous Relations

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