This paper will examine the relationship between human rights, social integration and religion. Given the multi-religious and multi-cultural setting of the country, this paper argues that human rights are indispensable components of social integration. Furthermore, it contends that the significant role of religion in the quest for peace in the land is to contribute to the development of social integration through human rights culture. This paper will be developed by describing human rights discourse in contemporary societies. It will trace the beginnings of human rights in the revolutions of the 17th-18th centuries. Further, it will explicate the evolution of the ‘three generations rights’ and some contentious issues related to it. Next, it will show the attitudes of the church on human rights in history. Then, it will examine the tension between individual and collective rights, between universal and particular rights in the human rights discourse. It will discuss the underlying principles of human rights like the principle of ‘mutual recognition,’ differentiated universalism, overlapping consensus, etc. It will also examine the underlying secular and religious ‘legitimations’ of human rights through the concepts of ‘human dignity’ and ‘image of God.’ After examining the substantial elements of human rights culture in the foregoing sections, the paper will demonstrate the link between human rights and social integration. And finally, it will draw some insights as to how religion can contribute in the development of social integration through human rights culture.
Human Rights Culture: A Way Forward to Peace Exploring the Relationship Between Religion and Human Rights
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