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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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Dignity as an Eschatological Concept

Dignity as an Eschatological Concept

(p.245) 13 Dignity as an Eschatological Concept
Understanding Human Dignity

David Walsh

British Academy

An eschatological concept is one we live within and therefore can never fully comprehend. Human dignity names what cannot be named. Rather than a claim to status it really marks the capacity to surrender all claim to status. Dignity is the flash of transcendence that is the epiphany of the person, the gift of self-presentation that is itself never fully presented. Rather than thinking of this as the core of the person we must acknowledge that persons are always more than any imputed core. This is what the language of rights has sought to affirm. That is, that within a world of limits, persons alone are inexhaustible. Each person is the whole of reality, as we perceive in the persons we love.

Keywords:   dignity, person, eschatological concept, epiphany of person, self-transcendence, inalienability of rights, beyond metaphysics, limits of law

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