Human Rights and Religion

The human rights issue is an object of sociological enquiry, particularly for the sociology of religion, for at least three good reasons. First, considering human rights means investigating one of the sharpest contradictions in modern society. Whereas, on the one hand, it exalts the primacy and inviolability of individual freedom; on the other, it involves individuals having to acknowledge the existence of universal ethical and juridical principles. Second, the resulting tension largely concerns today’s multicultural or multiethnic societies, where conflicts arise between values judged to be shared by all citizens and the demands of a particular community to be allowed to observe its own religious laws.

Such issues could be studied in the sphere of both sociology of religion and sociology of law. In fact, the ...

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