240 Book Reviews / International Journal of Public Theology 5 (2011) 233–263 Michael J. Perry, Toward a Theory of Human Rights: Religion, Law, Courts (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. xiii + 253, £49.00, ISBN 978-0-521-86551-7 (hbk). The language of human rights is one of the closest things we have to a universal moral language, and so, for this reason alone, a theory of human rights is of pressing importance. Toward a Theory of Human Rights is divided into three parts, each of which could justifiably have been extended to a book in its own right. The compressed treatment has benefits; notably that it enables Perry to give a wide-ranging view of some of the most crucial questions that a theory of human rights must answer. It therefore provides much to think about, but comes with the obvious cost that some insights and argu- ments are not be given the space they deserve. According to Perry, the morality of human rights consists in two claims; first, that ‘each and every (born) human being . . . has inherent dignity’ (p. 5) and, secondly, that ‘the inherent dignity of human beings has a normative force for us’ (p.
International Journal of Public Theology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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