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Tensions of Universal Claims and Contextual Sensitivities: The Case of Religious Freedom: An examination of Martha Nussbaum and Saba Mahmood’s ways of                             mediating the tensions of religious freedom
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis uses a philosophical discussion to explore the tensions that result in the meeting between universal claims and particular contexts regarding human rights and how these tensions can be mediated by exploring the right to religious freedom. In order to do this, two approaches will be studied, one liberal and one postcolonial, represented by Martha Nussbaum and Saba Mahmood respectively. In comparing the approaches of Nussbaum and Mahmood, their arguments and positions become clearer, but also the nuances of the debate between universalism and contextualism. The right to religious freedom, with its many tensions between theory and practice, has been useful in exploring what values are at stake when we talk about human rights in general and how we can think about the apparent tension between universalism and contextual sensitivity. The thesis thus shows that there are more similarities between these two approaches than it may first seem and that they are not incompatible. This is argued to provide insight into possible ways of mediating human rights between theory and practice.  

Abstract [sv]

Denna uppsats utgår från en filosofisk diskussion kring spänningen mellan universella anspråk och specifika sammanhang när det kommer till mänskliga rättigheter och hur dessa spänningar kan medlas utifrån en undersökning av religionsfriheten. För att åstadkomma studeras två inriktningar, den ena liberal och den andra postkolonial. Dessa inriktningar representeras av Martha Nussbaum respektive Saba Mahmood. I och med en jämförande analys mellan dessa två inriktningar är förhoppningen att deras likheter och skillnader blir tydligare, samt att nyanserna inom debatten mellan universalism och kontextualism blir tydligare. Det finns många spänningar mellan teori och praktik när det kommer till rätten till religionsfrihet och just denna rättighet är på så sätt användbar för att utforska spänningen mellan universalism och kontextualism när det kommer till mänskliga rättigheter. Denna uppsats visar därmed att det finns flera likheter mellan dessa inriktningar och att de därför inte kan anses vara oförenliga med varandra. Detta för med sig en insikt i möjligheter till att medla mänskliga rättigheter mellan teori och praktik.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
Religious freedom, liberty of conscience, human rights, universalism, contextualism, postcolonialism, liberalism, universal values, Martha Nussbaum, Saba Mahmood
Keyword [sv]
Religionsfrihet, samvetsfrihet, mänskliga rättigheter, universalism, kontextualism, postkolonialism, liberalism, universella värden, Martha Nussbaum, Saba Mahmood
National Category
Ethics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225639OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-225639DiVA: diva2:721846
Educational program
Master Programme in Human Rights
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2014-06-09 Created: 2014-06-05 Last updated: 2014-06-09Bibliographically approved

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