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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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In Pursuit of Human Dignity: An Introduction to Current Debates

In Pursuit of Human Dignity: An Introduction to Current Debates

(p.1) 1 In Pursuit of Human Dignity: An Introduction to Current Debates
Understanding Human Dignity

Christopher McCrudden

British Academy

The discussion of human dignity raises such complex issues, and the issues that current scholarship now considers central to its understanding is so daunting that we are in danger of not being able to see the forest for the trees. The Introduction introduces contributions from a multi-disciplinary group of historians, legal academics, judges, political scientists, theologians, and philosophers, arising from a Conference held in Rhodes House, Oxford in June 2012. It aims to provide a guide, a map, through the thicket of current dignity scholarship. It situates the subsequent chapters of the book within an overview of the terrain that currently constitutes debates about the use of dignity in these fields. It does not attempt to put forward the author’s own comprehensive account of dignity. Mostly based on the rich conversations that took place at the Conference, it seeks, rather, to probe the potential strengths and weaknesses of all of the principal positions identified, at least in some contexts taking on the role of a devil’s advocate.

Keywords:   judicial interpretation, political theology, Catholic social teaching, human rights theory, political philosophy

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