October 28th, 2009 | For more on this event, please visit: http://bit.ly/puq47j
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs | Georgetown University
The history of human rights runs parallel to the rise of the modern state and new forms of punishment. In that history some discern progress in the gradual constraints placed on state power with respect to its citizens. Others follow Michel Foucault, who saw the modern state developing more and more effective means of discipline over time. In his second Berkley Center lecture Hans Joas presented an alternative view of the origins of human rights. Drawing on the insights of Emile Durkheim he examined the larger process of inclusion through which more and more people have come to be considered human persons. A focus on the sacredness of the person helps us to understand the ambiguity of punishment in the modern era – and the threats posed to human rights by certain contemporary states.