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Title: A study of the theology of human rights with particular reference to gay rights
Author: Webb, Elizabeth Rachel.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3564 9107
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2007
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The thesis aims to investigate the Church's interpretation of human rights in relation to a range of Christian attitudes to homosexuality and to construct a theological critique of the issue. It begins by considering the historical development of the human rights concept, and identifies the significance of the dynamic nature of contemporary human rights perspectives, including an emerging awareness of the importance of ideas of relationality and dignity. The thesis then examines the changing historical approaches and theological interpretations of human rights from the churches, particularly in relation to relationality and dignity. Evidence is examined from Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican perspectives, with insights from liberation theology. The thesis considers the implications of a Trinitarian model for understanding human rights theologically. A contemporary appreciation of the Trinity, centred on a reappreciation of the importance of relationality, as identified (for example) by Gunton and Fiddes, offers fresh insight into how the churches' wrestling with the issue of homosexuality, as evidenced in Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and Methodist discussion, engages with human rights. Consideration of the importance of relationality is key to the Trinitarian modelling of God, focusing on the concepts of mutuality and openness as these resonate with the contemporary dynamic understanding of human rights, leading to consideration of the significance of "attentive listening", and an appreciation of the place of experience, in the churches' understanding of homosexuality. In the spirit of 'attentive listening', a central part of the study is the analysis of material from interviews with gay and lesbian Christians and others, to explore what their experience says about the implications for the church of a theology of human rights. The thesis concludes by considering the ways in which a theology of human rights might offer a way forward to a more mutual, open and dynamic form of church.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available