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13 - Beyond the Freedom of Worship: The Contested Meaning of Religious Freedom in International Human Rights Law and Politics, 1945–1967

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2021

Pamela Slotte
Affiliation:
Åbo Akademi University
John D. Haskell
Affiliation:
University of Manchester
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Summary

This chapter offers a brief history of how religious freedom has been conceptualized in international human rights law and politics after 1945, starting with the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948) Article 18 on the freedom of conscience, religion or belief, and ending with the aborted attempts in the 1960s to craft an international treaty on religious intolerance and discrimination. The chapter highlights how religious freedom over time became linked to a wider human rights discourse centered on combating different forms of structural injustice. It concludes with a set of critical reflections on recent attempts, including by the Donald J. Trump administration in the United States, to return to the “moral landscape” of the 1940s in order to salvage an allegedly natural right to religious freedom from the more comprehensive framework of human rights.

Type
Chapter
Information
Christianity and International Law
An Introduction
, pp. 263 - 280
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Recommended Reading

Bouwman, Bastiaan. “From Religious Freedom to Social Justice: The Human Rights Engagement of the Ecumenical Movement from the 1940s to the 1970s.” Journal of Global History 13, no. 2 (2018): 252–73.
Jensen, Steven L. B. The Making of International Human Rights: The 1960s, Decolonization, and the Reconstruction of Global Values. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Lindkvist, Linde. Religious Freedom and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
Shortall, Sarah. “Theology and Politics of Christian Human Rights.” Journal of the History of Ideas 79, no. 3 (2018): 445–60.
Su, Anna. Exporting Freedom: Religious Liberty and American Power. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018.
Zubovich, Gene. “American Protestants and the Era of Anti-racist Human Rights.” Journal of the History of Ideas 79, no. 3 (2018): 427–43.

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