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

Author’s response to my review of “What’s Wrong with Rights?”

Last February, I had the pleasure of reviewing Prof. Nigel Biggar’s important new book.

Prof. Biggar is Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford and Director of the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life. We met in the early stages of writing What’s Wrong with Rights when he spent some time at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, USA, where I was a Research Fellow in Legal Studies.

Yesterday prof. Biggar responded to my review and another from a legal perspective, namely Mark Hill QC’s. “Whereas the law professor, ten Napel, thinks that What’s Wrong with Rights? ‘makes a fundamental contribution from a theological point of view, which lawyers are well advised to take to heart,’ the practicing lawyer, Mark Hill, QC, begs to differ.”

Read the complete response here:

https://canopyforum.org/2021/04/16/legal-critiques-of-wwwr-a-reply-to-napel-and-hill-qc/

Also well worth reading are Prof. Biggar’s responses to ethical and theological critiques of his book, respectively:

https://canopyforum.org/2021/04/15/ethical-critiques-of-wwwr-a-reply-to-milbank-and-harrison/

https://canopyforum.org/2021/04/13/theological-critiques-of-wwwr-a-reply-to-little-and-herdt/

As always, Prof. Biggar’s response to my review provides “food for thought,” for example, when he writes:

“Those of us who are clear-eyed about the unavoidability of reference to objective morality, and about the need for talk about imperfect duty and virtues, are called to do so with natural confidence. Our example will help those who know more than they say, to begin to say what they know.”

My original review of What’s Wrong with Rights? can be read back here:

https://canopyforum.org/2021/02/02/is-nigel-biggars-whats-wrong-with-rights-sufficiently-realistic/

Finally, I would like to thank Canopy Forum for facilitating our exchange of views on this critical topic. “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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