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The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2008
Editor: Wes Williams

This book addresses the relationship between human rights and religion. The original blurb for the Oxford Amnesty Lectures of 2008 invited speakers and audiences to ponder arguments for the God-given source of human rights. The book explains how biblical inspiration (both Old and New Testament) fuelled the anti-slavery protests and later the civil rights movement in the United States. It develops the particular relevance, for arguments over human rights within Islam, of the writings of the medieval philosopher Muhammad al-Ghazali who justified an openness towards constructive engagement with other traditions. The book shows where the philosophical worldviews that inform the religion of Islam and the rights discourse may be distant from each other. It illustrates the challenge of taking the real world of human practice seriously while avoiding simplistic arguments for pluralism or relativism. The book focuses on Simon Schama's evocation of the religious fervour which helped feed the long struggles for liberation among American slave communities. It discusses the understanding of human rights in the Roman Catholic tradition. The book also shows that the Christian experience of Pentecost and what it means to learn to speak as well as understand another's language, is a continuing resource God has given the church to sustain the ability to suffer as well as respond to those who suffer for the long haul. The book argues that moral progress consists in the universalisation of Western liberal democracy with its specific understanding of human rights.

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R. N. Swanson

nevertheless remains within the sphere of private religion. Generally speaking, there was no official need to record the extent of individual commitment to a spiritual life which remained within the world. The wide variety of religious commitments which were available generally required an individual to set him or herself aside from ‘normality’, either through

in Catholic England
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Ronald Dworkin

9780719082542_C05.qxd 8/9/11 15:51 Page 104 5 Terror and religion1 Ronald Dworkin Introduction The Oxford Amnesty Lectures have by now a longish and distinguished history. The topic that dominates discussion shifts year by year, as it should, reflecting contemporary urgency. Sometimes the focus falls on implementation: we know when human rights are being violated en masse, and we struggle to find ways to end the horror. Sometimes the focus is more theoretical: when new national constitutions or human rights covenants are proposed and debated, for example, we

in Religion and rights
Spaces for argument and agreement
Wendy James

9780719082542_A02.qxd 8/9/11 15:49 Page 1 Introduction Rights and religion: spaces for argument and agreement Wendy James The pursuit of rights, for oneself or on behalf of other human beings, grows from our common capacity for passion, as much as from that for reason. Even the austere pronouncements made in the name of established authority – by governors, bankers and judges as well as priests – can be informed by shared human feeling and made effective through rhetoric and symbolic acts. It is not surprising that advocacy against authority commonly evokes

in Religion and rights
Jonathan Benthall

This review of David Martin’s Religion and Power: No logos without mythos (Ashgate, 2014) and Karen Armstrong’s Fields of Blood: Religion and the history of violence (Bodley Head, 2014) was published in the Times Literary Supplement ( TLS ) on 10 December 2014, under the heading ‘Poplars in the marsh’. Two

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
Mairi Cowan

parish church went to the care of sick parishioners and would continue to do so for as long as the town wished. A prominent question arising from the study of religion in Scottish towns in the pre-Reformation period concerns whether there was a sense of religious community at the town level: was the Scottish burgh a single corpus christianium, or body of Christians, or was it a series of distinct

in Death, life, and religious change in Scottish towns, c.1350–1560
Norman Bonney

MUP FINAL PROOF – <STAGE>, 08/13/2013, SPi 1 Secularisation, religion and the state This chapter introduces a discussion of a fundamental paradox concerning contemporary society and government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) – that while there is strong evidence of continuing trends towards a more secular and less religious society and pattern of social behaviour, at the same time, religious doctrines, rituals and institutions are central to the legitimacy, stability and continuity of key elements of the constitutional and

in Monarchy, religion and the state
The twentieth-century debate
Rosemary O’Day

4035 The debate.qxd:- 9/12/13 08:36 Page 117 5 The Tudor revolution in religion: the twentieth-century debate Introduction The figure of Henry VIII stands astride the Reformation century – a man of moods, at one moment terrifying and at another wooing his subjects, but always in command of the situation. But was he? At the very heart of the modern debate about the English Reformation lies the question – how far was the official Reformation the creation of the monarch? During the past 100 years many historians have turned their attention to this question

in The Debate on the English Reformation

This book explores the theory and practice of authority during the later sixteenth century, in the religious culture and political institutions of the city of Nantes, where the religious wars traditionally came to an end with the great Edict of 1598. The Wars of Religion witnessed serious challenges to the authority of the last Valois kings of France. In an examination of the municipal and ecclesiastical records of Nantes, the author considers challenges to authority, and its renegotiation and reconstruction in the city, during the civil war period. After a detailed survey of the socio-economic structures of the mid-sixteenth-century city, successive chapters detail the growth of the Protestant church, assess the impact of sectarian conflict and the early counter reform movement on the Catholic Church, and evaluate the changing political relations of the city council with the urban population and with the French crown. Finally, the book focuses on the Catholic League rebellion against the king and the question of why Nantes held out against Henry IV longer than any other French city.

Carol Engelhardt Herringer

1 Religion, gender, and the Virgin Mary I The mother not ‘out of sight’ n 1844, John Keble, an Anglican priest and popular poet, was dismayed to find that some of his friends objected to his including a poem about the Virgin Mary, ‘Mother out of sight’, in his second volume of poems, Lyra innocentium. Although Keble defended his poem as being in accordance with both Scripture and ‘the doctrinal decisions of the Whole Church’,1 his friends feared that its invocation of the Virgin Mary was evidence that, in the words of one, he ‘had advanced considerably in his

in Victorians and the Virgin Mary