Church, State, and International Human Rights: A Theological Appraisal

David M. Smolin, Church, State, and International Human Rights: A Theological Appraisal, 73 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1515 (May-July 1998).

From the author's introduction: The purpose of this essay is to suggest the attitude that Christianity, as one of the great world religions claiming the allegiance of perhaps a third of humanity,' ought to adopt toward the international human rights movement. My thesis is that the Christian church should maintain a clear distinction between her mission and language and those of the human rights movement. The church is called to engage the various ideologies, religions, and powers in this world, an engagement that often includes learning from and appreciating the relative good within non-Christian movements, religions, and ideologies. The church's engagement with these various religions, ideologies, and powers should identify and further common values, goods, and goals based upon our common humanity and congruencies in belief and practice; these engagements must not, however, obscure the distinctive claims of the Christian faith.

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