The Sacredness of the Person: A New Genealogy of Human Rights

The Sacredness of the Person: A New Genealogy of Human Rights

Hans Joas


What are the origins of the assumption of human rights and common human dignity? How do we such a lot absolutely understand―and realize―these rights going into the long run? In The Sacredness of the Person, across the world popular sociologist and social theorist Hans Joas tells a narrative that differs from traditional narratives via tracing the idea that of human rights again to the Judeo-Christian culture or, alternately, to the secular French Enlightenment. whereas drawing on sociologists corresponding to Émile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Ernst Troeltsch, Joas units out a brand new course, featuring an affirmative family tree within which human rights are the results of a technique of "sacralization" of each individual.

According to Joas, each individual has more and more been considered as sacred. He discusses the abolition of torture and slavery, as soon as universal perform within the pre-18th century west, as milestones in sleek human background. the writer concludes via portraying the emergence of the UN announcement of Human Rights of 1948 as a profitable technique of price generalization. Joas demonstrates that the historical past of human rights can't correctly be defined as a background of rules or as felony heritage, yet as a advanced transformation within which diversified cultural traditions needed to be articulated, legally codified, and assimilated into practices of lifestyle. The sacralization of the individual and common human rights will in simple terms be safe sooner or later, warns Joas, via persisted aid through associations and society, full of life discourse of their safeguard, and their incarnation in lifestyle and perform.

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