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Type :conference_item
Subject:BL Religion
Main Author :Morris Paul,
Title :Are religious values universal
Year of Publication :2004
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Abstract :
Are religious values universal? After studying and teaching religious studies for nearly thirty years it is hard not to recognise that there are indeed a plethora of local, indigenous, and revivalist religious traditions, both within larger religions and independent of them. There are many Judaisms, Islams, Christianities, Buddhisms, Hinduisms and Daoisms. My researches have led me to the conclusion that the differences between religious traditions are real and not easily reduced to any single pattern or model. But there are, of course, many overlapping elements, conceptual, theological and most evidently historical. I am anxious about any list of universal values divorced from (he context of their interpretation and application in living religious communities. Our values are those we live rather than those we merely aspire to without direct and immediate impact on our daily lives. Any list of values will exclude and stigmatise those that fail to fully accord with it. These failures will be deemed non-religious if the list is religious or not fully human if the list is a humanist one. The issues of religious and cultural pluralism have never been more important as we continually step up the level of our global interactions in a world where what happens anywhere impacts on us all. We need to understand each other’s values as a matter o f great priority and urgency. Many religious traditions and cultures claim forms of universalism, that is true for ail. hi this paper, however, I have chosen to focus on the best known claim for universalism the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. I want to say a few words about religions and human rights and then explore some of the alternatives to the UDHR and comments on the implications of such alternatives.
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