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Christianity and Human Rights

by Frank S. Alexander Jr. John Witte

Combining Jewish, Greek, and Roman teachings with the radical new teachings of Christ and St. Paul, Christianity helped to cultivate the cardinal ideas of dignity, equality, liberty and democracy that ground the modern human rights paradigm. Christianity also helped shape the law of public, private, penal, and procedural rights that anchor modern legal systems in the West and beyond. This collection of essays explores these Christian contributions to human rights through the perspectives of jurisprudence, theology, philosophy and history, and Christian contributions to the special rights claims of women, children, nature and the environment. The authors also address the church's own problems and failings with maintaining human rights ideals. With contributions from leading scholars, including a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, this book provides an authoritative treatment of how Christianity shaped human rights in the past, and how Christianity and human rights continue to challenge each other in modern times.

Law and Language

by Harold J. Berman John Witte Jr.

Completed in 1964, Harold J. Berman's long-lost tract shows how properly negotiated, translated and formalised legal language is essential to fostering peace and understanding within local and international communities. Exemplifying interdisciplinary and comparative legal scholarship long before they were fashionable, it is a fascinating prequel to Berman's monumental Law and Revolution series. It also anticipates many of the main themes of the modern movements of law, language and ethics. In his Introduction, John Witte, Jr, a student and colleague of Berman, contextualises the text within the development of Berman's legal thought and in the evolution of interdisciplinary legal studies. He has also pieced together some of the missing sections from Berman's other early writings and provided notes and critical apparatus throughout. An Afterword by Tibor Várady, another student and colleague of Berman, illustrates via modern cases the wisdom and utility of Berman's theories of law, language and community.

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