A Theological Justification for Freedom of Religion and Belief as a Universal Right

Giles, Jessica (2019). A Theological Justification for Freedom of Religion and Belief as a Universal Right. In: Bunikowski, Dawid and Puppo, Alberto eds. Why Religion? Towards a Critical Philosophy of Law, Peace and God. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing (In Press).

Abstract

This chapter explores the extent to which, in the light of this scholarship and the lack of universal application of FoRB, FoRB can still claim to be a universal right. It first explores FoRB’s claims to universalism in international, regional and national rights instruments. It then considers the theoretical basis for FoRB as a universal right in order to discover whether on a philosophical and theological level there are still grounds to support its claim to universalism. This is followed by an overview of the evidence which demonstrates that despite its universal nature in legal instruments and theory, FoRB is far from universally applied. To address this gap between aspirational rights norms and practice this chapter then considers a theory grounded in reformed theology to support FoRB as a universal right.

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