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The Intellectual History of Human Rights

I'm beginning my final term at Regent College this coming Monday. It's quite shocking to realize that I've nearly completed my Masters degree in Christian Studies. It was two years ago now, in January of 2009, that Danae and I uprooted our life in Sisters, OR, and moved up north to Vancouver, B.C. to begin our studies. The time has been rich and full, and has passed quite quickly.

Part of the graduation requirements in my degree program at Regent include something called a Comprehensive (Comps) paper in which the student defines an area of study and then works under the guidance of one or two professors to read widely and produce a 30-50 page paper. I've elected to do my Comps on the Intellectual History of Human Rights. I've decided to break the area up into "core samples" in various time periods in order to try and understand how the idea of human rights came into existence. It's a massive undertaking, and I'm quite intimidated by the size of the project that I've bitten off. Nevertheless, I feel it's an area of incredible importance, especially as Western culture shifts more and more into a postmodern mindset, and the basis for clearly defined "rights and wrongs" erodes.

Here is my reading list for my Comps paper:

General Reading on Justice, Rights and Selfhood
     -Justice: Rights and Wrongs by Nicholas Wolterstorff
     -Until Justice & Peace Embrace by Nicholas Wolterstorff
     -After Virtue by Alisdair McEntyre
     -Whose Justice, Which Rationality? By Alisdair McEntyre
     -After you Believe by N.T. Wright
     -Sources of the Self by Charles Taylor

Old Testament
     -Journey to the Common Good by Walter Brueggemann
     -Old Testament Ethics for the People of God by Christopher Wright

New Testament
     -The Moral Vision of the New Testament by Richard B. Hays

Church Fathers
     -On Wealth and Poverty by John Chrysostom

Early Medieval Period
     -The idea of natural rights: studies on natural rights, natural law, and church law, 1150-1625
     by Brian Tierney

An Alternative Perspective
     -Various Essays by Stanley Hauerwass & William Cavanaugh
     -The One, The Three, And the Many by Colin Gunton
     -Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Nash

If anybody else has been reading these books, please post here and let me know your thoughts on them!

Grace and Peace.


Comment Author Comment Text

Member Since:

Mike, Thank you!

I just finished reading Under the Overpass and I am now just sitting, actually watching it snow, and in deep reflection about your book, my life (current/past), and my direction. I am a high school history teacher/football coach/FCA sponsor and one of my students handed me your book Friday and said they thought I would like it. I love it! You and Sam have inspired me beyond words. I needed this so much and I can't thank you guys enough.

I too am in grad school. I am pursuing a masters in Chirstian Ministry from North Greenville University here in Upstate SC.

I have no idea what God has in store for me when I finish this degree but I pray for knowledge and understanding daily as I try to discern His purpose for my life.

May Thy Will Be Done. Love You Brother.

In Christ,

Chip Cook

Posted: 2011-01-10 06:36:17

Member Since:

I hadn't realized you lived in Sisters. I bought your book for my husband to read and am now finally opening it for myself :) I love your crazy love and trust in Christ. I feel like I'm being nudged to jump off a cliff and I'm still inching towards the edge... waiting to be sure. Your book just illustrates even more how I need to leap because He told me to. Thank you for the honesty in your words.



Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

Posted: 2011-02-15 18:10:32


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