Human Rights: Are they a Christian idea?


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Where do human rights come from? Do they find their origin in God or are they an inherently secular concept? And what are the implications for us as Christian lawyers in a culture where rights-based arguments are increasingly the norm?

Some Christians find the whole idea of human rights problematic - the whole discourse of rights-based language can at times seem excessively individualistic and devoid of notions of responsibilities and duties. On the other hand, many Christians argue that human rights are, at root, based on inherently Christian ideas such as the dignity and value of each individual. Which approach is correct?

And where does all this abstract theorising fit in with important contemporary debates where human rights arguments are ever more prevalent?

In this short video, Alasdair Henderson, a human rights barrister at One Crown Office Row, explores what the Bible teaches about the origin and content of rights and the practical implications for us as Christian lawyers now.

If you would like to discuss these issues in a group then a hand-out with discussion questions and further resources is available here.

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