Christ and Human Rights
The Transformative Engagement
Human rights is one of the most important geopolitical issues in the modern world. Jesus Christ is the centre of Christianity. Yet there exists almost no analysis of the significance of Christology for human rights. This book focuses on the connections. Examination of rights reveals tensions, ambiguities and conflicts. This book constructs a Christology which centres on a Christ of the vulnerable and the margins. It explores the interface between religion, law, politics and violence, East and West, North and South. The history of the use of sacred texts as 'texts of terror' is examined, and theological links to legal and political dimensions explored. Criteria are developed for action to make an effective difference to human rights enforcement and resolution between cultures and religions on rights.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; The centrality of rights - introduction; Jesus Christ and the hope of rights; Rights, cultures and transcendence; Rights in the Christological tradition; The hermeneutics of rights in the history of interpretation; Christology in human rights focus - towards a humane Christology; Marginality, Memory and solidarity; Rights reconsidered: building a postfoundational pathway; Christology FOR human rights; Making rights stick; Index.
George Newlands has been Professor of Divinity at the University of Glasgow, UK, since 1986. He was University Lecturer in Divinity, Cambridge, 1973-86, and Fellow and Dean at Trinity Hall Cambridge, 1982-86. He has written ten books including The Transformative Imagination, Ashgate, 2004.
'There is no one who writes with such incision, perceptiveness and constructive irony. This is a book which will speak to readers across both the disciplines and the professions, from academic theologian to Lieutenant-General.' Iain Torrance, Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey 'In this engaging and lively study, George Newlands seeks to connect distinctive christological claims with the more universal moral discourse of human rights. In doing so, he outlines important ways in which Christian theological ethics may appropriate secular claims while remaining faithful to its central theme.' David Fergusson, University of Edinburgh ’... fascinating work ... breaks new ground in demonstrating how rich a source for political reflection Christology can be. ...contains a very useful survey of a wide range of literature. The selection of citations is very judicious and the footnotes are often quite as interesting as the main body of the text. This scholarly and enjoyable work will prove an invaluable resource for anyone with a serious interest in human rights.’ Times Literary Supplement ’Newlands provides an excellent summary of the various, sometimes contending, theories and practices that have emerged in political and social thinking in the last four centuries... one can only recommend a book the strength of which lies in its capacity to demonstrate so ably that in the twenty-first century a Christology constructed without recognition of the issue of human rights will be a deficient Christology.’ Journal of Theological Studies ’... an engaging and informed defence of human rights which should interest a wide readership...’ The Tablet