Comparative Constitutional Law, Democracy, Law and Religion, Public Theology, Religion and Politics, Whither Europe?

Essay “A Natural Law Basis for Human Rights?” on Canopy Forum

The opening paragraph of the essay reads as follows:

“Attempts by the United States State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights to identify a subset of proper “unalienable rights” within the broader category of human rights are sometimes perceived as an almost reactionary effort. The adoption of a historical-philosophical perspective reveals that, on the contrary, even if applied within a natural law framework, natural rights are a fundamentally modern idea. Today, it is sometimes feared that this modern constitutionalism has, from the beginning, been little more than an experiment that was doomed to fail. Given such concerns, the U.S. State Department “unalienable rights” debate represents a reasonable inquiry into how the ideal of human rights can be carried on into the twenty-first century.”

The essay is the first in a series of posts on the relationship between natural law and human rights in light of the U.S. State Department’s recently established Commission on Unalienable Rights.

Read the whole essay here: .

Canopy Forum “is a digital publication from the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University that produces expert analysis for the broader community of digital consumers: citizens, scholars, lawyers, clergy, journalists, policy makers, and more. By taking advantage of contemporary means for content delivery – from short essays and thematic text primers to video interviews and podcasts – this website engages a global network of the top minds in law and religion to produce sophisticated and accessible content for a contemporary age.”


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