The Involvement of Christian Teaching in Contemporary Human Rights Discourse

Dr. Dobrochna Bach-Golecka, PhD

This is summary of Bach-Golecka’s chapter contribution in Legitimizing Human Rights. Secular and Religious Perspective (Ashgate 2013), edited by Angus Menuge.

The aim of my contribution was to analyze the impact of the Christian teaching, and more specifically Catholic doctrine, upon the contemporary human rights discourse. I have differentiated three main perspectives within which religious community may have an impact upon the social surroundings: general, specific and implementation function. Within a general function religious (ethical) community is perceived as a fundamental basis of morality. Within a specific function many religious communities provide their members guidance as well as detailed criteria concerning the required personal conduct within the public sphere. Within an implementation function religious community is entrusted with the burden of controlling the level of norms-observance among its members.

A possible development of the issues dealt with within the chapter would be the following:

  • To analyze the specific understanding of human rights within the Christian doctrine, i.e. the right to life, including uninterrupted beginning and end, with no abortion, death penalty or euthanasia)
  • To elaborate upon the influence of God’s grace on human actions (molinism and other theoretical explanations)
  • To examine the influence of specific sacraments on human behaviour, and specifically the impact of the sacrament of reconciliation in the circumstances of the contemporary culture.