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A Mounting East-West Tension. Buddhist-Christian Dialogue on by Keith Soko

By Keith Soko

Do religions purely upload to worldwide tensions this present day? may still religions be excluded from the human rights debate? Politically, a mounting rigidity among jap and western cultures with reference to human rights turns out to proceed. in spite of the fact that, in reading divergent non secular worldviews on that subject, Buddhism and Christianity, Soko reveals contract, complementarity, and advocacy. moreover, either traditions rigidity tasks towards the surroundings as an important part within the human rights dialogue. hence, Soko emphasizes the significance of the position of faith within the carrying on with improvement of an international ethic and the concern of the concept that of human rights in operating towards worldwide social justice. He concludes that religions advocacy for human rights bargains a shining substitute to the darkish failure of the fundamentalist worldview . . . and in addition stands unlike an earthly, relativist tradition which denies our universal humanity and our obligations towards the earth

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Little explains that implicit in this view “is the idea that human beings have implanted in them ‘by nature’ a set of general requirements and standards of behavior, both formal and substantive, according to which the internal appraisal of one’s own acts and character is conducted” (ibid. 14). Swidler agrees, noting that “the degree of religious liberty granted is an important touchstone of the advance of the notion of human rights” (L. Swidler 1990, 14). Tertullian (ca. ). Additional key events include the Magna Carta of political and civil liberties, granted by King John in England in 1215, where “here again human reason was the foundation stone, thereby providing a solid basis for the building of the full-blown idea of human rights” (L.

Religions emphasize the value and dignity of the individual person, although the nature of that person may be perceived differently from one tradition to the next. Religions emphasize the connection between the individual and the community, yet stress that one need not be restricted only to the concerns of the community or society. Thus, they push the individual to transcend themselves, and their community, to achieve a more universal perception 1 • The Concept of Human Rights & Its Importance 51 of reality.

Yet, while there may be a moral common ground, is the language of “human rights” common in the various traditions? Certainly it is not. Arlene Swidler writes that “neither the term nor the concept is traditional in religious thought,” yet “dealing as they do with our basic understanding of what it means to be human, what we are doing on this earth, and how we ought to relate to one another, human rights are at the center of religious thought and practice” (A. Swidler 1982, vii). Cox and Sharma argue that “if one goes to the core ideas, central values of human dignity and well-being, basic scriptures, most powerful images, exemplary persons, and key interpreters in these traditions, a wealth of constructive material can be found” (Cox and Sharma 1994, 62).

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