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European Sources of Human Dignity

A Commented Anthology

Mette Lebech

This anthology brings together texts of significance for the conceptualisation of human dignity as a constitutional principle in Europe from the earliest evidence until 1965. It divides into four parts, respectively presenting the ancient, the medieval, the early modern and the modern sources. As far as human dignity is a constitutional principle, its history follows closely that of the constitution of states. However, various traditions of human dignity, understanding it to rely on features unrelated to the state, combine in the background to reflect the substance of the idea. The introductions to texts, chapters and parts narrates this history in relation to the texts presented to reflect it. The aim is to provide for scholars and students of law, philosophy, political science and theology a collection of texts documenting the history of the concept of human dignity that is sufficiently comprehensive to contextualise the various understandings of it. A structured bibliography accompanies the work.

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Bibliographies, Dictionary Entries, Handbooks and Anthologies

‘Dignitas’ in Lexicon Totus Latinitatis. A Dictionary of the Latin Language by I. J. G. Scheller, rev. and trans. J. E. Riddle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1835).

Dignity, Ethics and Law (Copenhagen: Centre for Ethics and Law, 1999).

Dürig, W., ‘Dignitas’ in Real Lexicon für Antike und Christentum, ed. Klauser (Stuttgart: Anton Hierseman, 1957).

Düwell, Marcus, Jens Braarvig, Roger Brownsword, and Dietmar Mieth, The Cambridge Handbook of Human Dignity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Haferkamp, Björn, ‘The Concept of Human Dignity: an Annotated Bibliography’, in K. Bayertz, ed., Sanctity of Life and Human Dignity (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1996), 275–91.

Horstmann, R. P. ‘Menschenwürde’ in Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, ed. Ritter und Gründer, vol. 5 (Basel – Stuttgart: Schwabe und Cie, 1980).

Parker, Philip, Dignitate. Webster’s Timeline History 74 BC – 2005 (San Diego, CA: ICON Group, 2009).

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