Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Berkowitz reviews Wilken on the Christian Foundations of Human Rights

Here.  A bit:

In “Liberty in the Things of God: The Christian Origins of Religious Freedom,” Robert Louis Wilken provides a wealth of evidence drawn both from major events and seminal texts to show that the unfolding of Christian faith and the development in the West of the idea of individual freedom have been intimately intertwined.  

This is not to deny the religious persecution across centuries perpetrated by Christianity. The enforcement of religious orthodoxy and the repression of dissent have been a default option throughout history. What distinguishes Christianity has been the steady and deepening appreciation that its core teachings require not merely toleration — in the sense of grudging or politically expedient acceptance of differences in religious belief and forms of worship — but rather robust freedom because by its very nature faith cannot be coerced. So powerful was this idea within Christianity and so profound has been Christianity’s influence in the West and around the world that it has furnished an “intellectual framework” that established freedom of religion as a basic assumption of liberal democracy and eventually as a fundamental human right. . . .

https://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2019/04/berkowitz-reviews-wilken-on-the-christian-foundations-of-human-rights.html

Garnett, Rick | Permalink