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Understanding Human Dignity$
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Christopher McCrudden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265642

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265642.001.0001

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‘A Communion in Good Living’: Human Dignity and Religious Liberty beyond the Overlapping Consensus

‘A Communion in Good Living’: Human Dignity and Religious Liberty beyond the Overlapping Consensus

Chapter:
(p.451) 26 ‘A Communion in Good Living’: Human Dignity and Religious Liberty beyond the Overlapping Consensus
Source:
Understanding Human Dignity
Author(s):

Joel Harrison

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265642.003.0026

Can a religious tradition translate its language and beliefs into a shared ‘political’ conception of human dignity, one which views religious liberty as part of a general focus on equal concern and respect? This chapter argues that recent arguments for such a translation fail to account for the distinct ways in which different political and social ‘imaginaries’ deploy dignity and religious liberty. It examines two views. First, writing from within the liberal egalitarian tradition emphasising the individual’s capacity for self-definition as the heart of human dignity. Second, Christian personalist arguments emphasising the person as a ‘gift’ to social wholes, pursuing an inter-personal quest for true human ends. The chapter suggests that the latter view offers resources for a revitalized understanding of religious liberty.

Keywords:   religious liberty, secular reason, social imaginary, personal autonomy, associations, personalism

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