Religion and human rights a philosophical study, PK Yadav

Tags: human rights, creation, Pawan Kumar, Calvary, Benares, moral rights, Yadav Department of Philosophy University of Lucknow Lucknow Page, Bhagwat Gita, Critical remarks, Buddhism, Hinduism, Buddhist Philosophy, Manu Smriti, Mahabharata, Mahayana & Vajrayana, religion in society
Content: PREFACE Undoubtedly human rights are among the greatest invention of our civilization. By this assertion I mean to emphasize several things. First, that the effective recognition of human rights can be compared in its impact on human social life to the development of the modern technological, and transportation. Secondly, that such rights are, in some sense, 'artificial', that is, that they, like the aeroplane or computer, are products of human ingenuity, even though they may depend on certain 'natural', facts. Thirdly, contrary to what is generally thought, the fact that human rights are instrument created by human being is not incompatible with their significance for social life. Theologies and philosophies did fertilize the soil where the rights of man, of groups and denominations could flourish. The history of human rights would be incomplete without tracing their sources in the history of plural religions spreading universal values-and sustaining social systems. Philosophers- kings, rulers who founded religions and emperors who adopted or adapted religions and radiated enlightenment enriched human heritage through the centuries. Now, it is pertinent to examine the religious roots of human rights. The Vedas, The Bible, The Qur'an and the analects of Confucius are some of the oldest written sources that addressed questions of people's duties, rights and responsibilities. In order to make effective and convenient study of the topic "Religion and Human Rights: A Philosophical Study", the research work has been divided in to six chapters. In the chapter 1, I have discussed broad theoretical framework of human rights and religion. It emphasizes on definitions, nature, origins and evolution of human rights. Human rights are those moral rights which are owed to each man or woman by every man or woman solely by reason of being human. Human rights distinguished from the other moral rights in Page | I
possessing the following inherent characteristics; viz. universality, individuality, paramountcy, practicability enforceability. Though, the nomenclature ' Human Rights ' is of recent origin, which, specially came in to common parlance since the second world war and founding of United Nations in 1945, the idea of human rights could be traced back to the times of GreekPhilosophers, the Roman historians, the Judeo-Christian religious belief, the medieval theologians of natural law, the social contractualists Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. Further this chapter examines the evolution of human rights. Human rights and the League of Nations, the Second World War, U N Charter and U.N Declaration have been discussed. Significance of UN character, UN Declaration and both the convents has been examined thoroughly. Further this chapter discussed central issue of religion and concept of human rights among world major religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism) Marxist, and Postmodern approach on human rights in detail. Chapter 2, deals with the concept of human rights in Christianity. It starts with brief introduction of Christianity: like three division of the church (ancient & contemporary both), the Old Testament & New Testament. It examine basic feature of Christianity as religion followed by the theological roots of human rights and revolutionary dimension. Chapter 3, analyzes the concept of human rights in Islam start with brief introduction of the Qur'an, the Hadith, the early branches and Iman & Ihsan, with basic features of Islam as religion. Further it discusses concept of equality and the concept of state. It deals the sufi commentary, Universal Islamic Deceleration of Human Rights 1981, Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam 1990 and critique of Cairo Declaration of Human Rights also. Chapter 4, presents the concept of human rights in Buddhism. It start with brief introduction of Buddhism, the tripitakas, various schools of Page | II
Buddhist Philosophy, (Mdhyamika, Yogcra, Sautrntika, Vaibhsika) branches (Theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana) and basic feature of Buddhism as religion. It also critically examine rights and human rights in Buddhism Chapter 5, analyzes the concept of human rights in Hinduism. It also start discussion with brief introduction of Hinduism, text (Vedas, Upanishad, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagwat Gita & Manu Smriti) and branches (Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism) etc. It further discusses the basic features of Hinduism as religion, ethical support of human being, right to happiness, right to equality, right to religion, right to education, right to protection, right to humane treatment, right to justice in detail. Chapter 6, concludes the research work and present brief analysis of human rights. Findings and concluding remarks about the concept of human rights in the world's major religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism) has been given. Critical remarks, wherever needed, has been given accordingly. The long-term recognition of human rights requires the engagement of a social hermeneutic which is philosophically open to universality, sociohistorically attuned to the role played by religion in society, and theologically ready to prefer apologetically arguments for and against religious claims in the quest for a true account of human nature under God. All of these arguments are in considerable disrepute today. Yet human rights will best be fulfilled if and when a theological ethic brings these orientations into an integrated focus. If it does so, it will be a "light to all the peoples," a "light which enlightens the whole world," The articulation of human rights in this way may well enable humanity to approximate more nearly God's truth and justice in our time. That covenantal calling, articulated in an exemplary, if secular and inevitably Page | III
temporal, way in efforts to state and defend human rights speaks from the deep unity of creation, Sinai, Calvary and the New Jerusalem, and it promises to touch and renews also Athens, Benares, and Mecca. At last I accept the responsibility for errors, if any, for the contents, in the pages to follow.
Date:......................... Place:.........................
Dr. Pawan Kumar Yadav Department of Philosophy University of Lucknow Lucknow
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PK Yadav

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