Can human rights accommodate pluralism?
in Religion and rights
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This chapter examines Oxford Amnesty Lectures from the following angle: can human rights accommodate pluralism. It addresses the two questions: do human rights transcend cultural and religious differences and what does the answer to this question imply for our understanding of democracy in a global context. The chapter discusses by examining the supposedly universal relevance of the notion of human rights, a notion that lies at the heart of the Western conception of democracy. It considers how it is possible to reformulate that notion in a way that will make it compatible with a pluralist perspective. A pluralistic world order is the only way to avoid the predicted clash of civilisations. Raimundo Panikkar argues that, in order to understand the meaning of human rights, it is necessary to scrutinise the function played by the notion 'Is the notion of human rights a Western concept' in our culture.

Religion and rights

The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2008

Editor: Wes Williams

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