Теолошка анализа појма људских права и њихова рецепција у хришћанској цркви
Тheological analysis of the notion of human rights and their reception in the Christian church
Devrnja, Zoran Z.
Faculty:University of Belgrade, Faculty of Orthodox Theology
MetadataShow full item record
Human rights represent a modern legal phenomenon. In their present form they have been developed for just a couple of decades, more precisely, from the end of WW2 onwards. Nowadays, by means of these rights, both the collective rights of communities, as well as the rights of individuals are being protected. Human rights have made individuals the subjects of the international law. Despite being composed upon the secular grounds, human rights possess a deeper rootedness both in different philosophical traditions as well as in the religious teachings. Human rights are not part of the content of the testamental tradition, yet the Tradition represents an inexhaustible inspiration in the process of developing the idea of human rights. The notion of human rights, as a predominantly legal phenomenon, has been analyzed and valorized by means of the method of comparative law, so that its presence could be shown in the primary documents before the Declaration, the documents which may extend not only
to the European Middle Ages, but even (historically) deeper in the past. The social, philosophical and ethical dimensions of the analyzed notion in the contemporary society can be discerned and properly grasped only through the contextualization and theoretical articulation of the idea of justice and just society, not only in their modern theoretical and practical phenomenology, but through the form of centuries-long continual formation of the idea, by means of the affirmation of human dignity and fundamental social values on the grounds of Christian religious principles. Given that the core of this thesis lies in the analysis of the notion of human rights from the perspective of theological notions and theory, all the aforementioned methodological procedures are put into relationship with the corresponding theological disciplines and their methods, which can contribute to the elucidation of this notion from the perspective of Christian experience. In the section of research which, chronologically, comes in the first place, the contribution of the biblical-revelational experience of God‟s presence in the world to the formation of the contemporary image of man and his identity has been analyzed by the critical theological-sociological and textual-historical method, assuming that the event of concluding the Covenant (the alliance) between God and man is indispensable and, in this sense, revolutionary for the new and different existential positioning of man within history, as well as for the understanding of history itself. The Judeo-Christian religious tradition represents a solid basis for the formation of the very notion of human rights and its steady development. Basic, foundational, universalistic notional references necessary for the constituting of the idea of human rights are to be found in the pre-historical testimonies of the Old Testament, such as the event of creating the world and man, the original sin, the flood… The later developed legal corpus of the Old Testament, which has its roots in the legal tradition of ancient Mesopotamia from the end of 3rd until the end of 1st millennium B.C., developing itself in two dominant traditions of Abrahamic and Mosaic tradition, provides us both with universalistic value-models necessary for the constituting of the idea of human rights, as well as with particularistic ones which institutionalize the very idea. The prophetic tradition in Israel represents, through its universalism, an additional fruitful basis for the development and suitable social contextualization of the idea of human rights. Christ‟s incarnation and resurrection revolutionarily change the place and importance of man within history. Through the incarnation of Christ, human person gains the absolute value and becomes the very goal of existence. The evangelical testimony offers us love for enemies, as well as the model of relating towards other individuals or groups, as the experience of the presence of God‟s grace within our social experience, through which every form of normativity and legalism is overcome, which can exceptionally correctively influence the development of the idea and praxis of human rights. The testimony of the Gospels gains its distinctive and inspired contextualization in the writings of St. Apostle Paul and the process of reception of his theological heritage at the and of 1st and in the first half of the 2nd century A.D. The work of apologists and a number of pseudographs in the middle of 2nd century influenced the transposing of the evangelic philanthropy into the sphere of hellenic philanthropical tradition and social praxis. From the middle of 4th century onwards, through the activity of the Cappadocian Fathers, the social activity of the Church gets its firm theological foundation and manifests significant potential for moving the social value agenda in the direction of a more comprehensive legal and practical protection of man from suffering and evil in his natural and social anxieties, injustices and weaknesses. Christian communities of all denominations have accepted, in the second half of 20th century, the idea of human rights as immanent to their ethical teaching and testimony, while bringing certain critical observations, regarding its overemphasized anthropocentricity, the imbalance of rights and responsibility, as well as of the individual and collective rights on the one hand and civil and social rights on the other. The crucial objection they make concerns the usage of human rights in the process of reaching particular political goals. Christian communities expect contemporary legal systems and international order to treat man as the goal of human rights and not to make these rights a means of political fightsView More
Keywords:human rights, personality, freedom, love (for enemies), Christ‟s economy of salvation, Moses‟ Law, abrahamic tradition, Cappadocian Fathers, J. Moltmann, Iustitia et Pax, “The Russian Orthodox Church’s Basic Teachings on Human Dignity, Freedom and Rights”, The Universal declaration of Human Rights, individualism