Review: Joas, Hans. The Sacredness of the Person: A New Genealogy of Human Rights. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2013. xi+217 pp. $29.00 (paper)

Bharat Ranganathan, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Accepted for publication and published by Journal of Religion on October 2016.” © 2016by the Journal of Religion


On what grounds should human rights rest? How should the universality of universal human rights be understood, especially given the putative incommensurability among rival views that obtain in the contemporary world? Do human rights emerge from a particular metaphysics, for example, the idea that human beings are created in the image of God? Or are human rights sufficiently basic that whatever grounds them, for example, respect for humans as ends-in-themselves, is in fact justifiable across any and all moral, political, and religious views? These queries continue to concern both human rights advocates and critics.