PERSONHOOD AND HUMAN RIGHTS (PHCE-4950)
(09/07/2021-12/17/2021)

Course Memo

Thomas Aquinas calls the word “persona” a “term of dignity” (nomen dignitatis) and says that human beings are “naturally free and existing for their own sake” (homo [est] naturaliter et liber et propter seipsum existens; Sth II-II 64, 2 ad 3. The dignity of the human person as a bearer of rights is therefore an important aspect of our topic. Challenges to human dignity may arise from scientific reductionism or in bioethical contexts. This seminar will explore questions of human rights in a political and inter-religious context looking at how the philosophical implications of various religious traditions impact the notion of human rights. This seminar will include outside speakers from other faith traditions, as can be found at the neighboring institutions of the Graduate Theological Union. Requirements: 6 credits in either philosophical anthropology, fundamental moral theology or general ethics. Students will be evaluated by participation in class discussions, student presentations and a twenty-page research paper. Intended audience MA, MTS. PhD and DMin students can request an upgrade which will include a plan for additional research and writing.[20 max enrollment; Auditors with faculty permission]