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Review: Rethinking Human Rights: A Review Essay on Religion, Relativism, and Other Matters

Reviewed Works: Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspectives by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naʿim; Human Rights and Religious Values: An Uneasy Relationship? by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naʿim, Jerald D. Gort, Henry Jansen, Hendrick M. Vroom; Religious Diversity and Human Rights by Irene J. Bloom, Paul Martin, Wayne L. Proudfoot; Freedom of Religion and Belief: A World Report by Kevin Boyle, Juliet Sheen; The Ethics of Human Rights by Carlos Santiago Nino; Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Legal Perspectives by Johan D. van der Vyver, John Witte Jr.; Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Religious Perspectives by John Witte Jr., Johan D. van der Vyver
Review by: David Little
The Journal of Religious Ethics
Vol. 27, No. 1 (Spring, 1999), pp. 149-177
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40018221
Page Count: 28
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Rethinking Human Rights: A Review Essay on Religion, Relativism, and Other Matters
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Abstract

In reviewing five edited collections and one monograph from the 1990s, the article summarizes the present status of the "human rights revolution" that was signaled by the adoption in 1948 of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". It goes on to elaborate and evaluate some of the attempts contained in these books to deal with theoretical and practical controversies surrounding the subject of human rights, particularly the discussion of what to make of "cultural relativism" as far as human rights are concerned. Finally, the article summarizes some recent thinking and research on a neglected area, namely compliance with human rights standards protecting "freedom of religion or belief."

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