Department/School

Sociology and Anthropology

Abstract

This article examines current human rights thinking through the lens of the sociology of religion. Though human rights law was intended to combat the positive-law tradition, which proved so amenable to Holocaust, it in fact amounts to a sacred history. Like all sacred texts, human rights documents provide both a way to separate good and evil, while also stimulating action. More interestingly, the three generations of human rights (civil/political, social/economic, and group/cultural) mirror three aspects of the contemporary global economic and political order. I wrote as much ten years ago, in my first article for Philosophical Alternatives. My previous view now requires correction. Third-generation human rights are now more clearly connected to a push against globalization on behalf of aroused ethno-religious communities. This undercuts human rights advocates rather Whiggish view of history.

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Philosophical Alternatives (Философски Алтернативи, Bulgaria)

Publication Date

2010

Volume

19

Issue

5

Pages

120-134

Comments

Published in Bulgarian. Translation by N.B. Todorova.

Document Version

Preprint