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Orthodox Christianity and Human Rights in Europe

A Dialogue Between Theological Paradigms and Socio-Legal Pragmatics



This collective book aims at examining in what terms, and to what extent, the "reception" of the Human Rights doctrine takes place in Eastern Orthodox countries, as well as in the Orthodox diaspora. A series of questions are raised regarding the resources and theological structures that are mobilized in the overall Human Rights’ debate and controversy, the theological "interpretation" of Human Rights within the Eastern Orthodox spiritual tradition, and the similarities and/or divergences of this "interpretation", compared to the other Christian confessions. Special attention is given to the various Orthodox actors on the international arena, aside the national Orthodox churches, which participate in the Ecumenical dialogue, as well as the dialogue with the European and international institutions.

Religious freedom, as a fundamental Human right, guaranteed by the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), constitutes a key-issue that contributes to broadening the reflections on the overall Human Rights-related problematic between East and West, by shading light on the more complex issue pertaining to the conceptualization and implementation of Human Rights in countries belonging to the Eastern Orthodox tradition.

The present volume studies the diversity that characterizes the Orthodox theological traditions and interpretations regarding Human Rights, not only in terms of an "external", or a "strategical" approach of socio-political and ecclesial nature, but also through a reflexive analysis of theological discourses.

Louis-Léon Christians Ph.D., doctor in Civil Law (Paris XI), doctor in Canon Law (Institut Catholique de Paris), is Professor and head of the Chair for Law and Religion at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). He is the President of the Research Institute for Religious Studies (RSCS) at the UCL, and Director of the Law and Religion module of the Master in Religious Studies.

Elisabeth A. Diamantopoulou Ph.D., doctor in Sociology of Religions/Religious Studies (École Pratique des Hautes Études-Sorbonne, Paris), is Research Associate at the Chair for Law and Religion/Research Institute for Religious Studies, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium.