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J Hist Ideas. 2018;79(3):427-443. doi: 10.1353/jhi.2018.0026.

American Protestants and the Era of Anti-racist Human Rights.

Abstract

How Christian conceptions of human rights became associated with anti-racism is the subject of this article. Protestants rooted human rights in a philosophical doctrine called "personalism," whose language of "dignity," the "human family," and the "human person" was first developed in the Methodist-run philosophy department at Boston University at the turn of the century. Personalism, evoked in interwar discussions of racism and colonialism, transformed into the political language of human rights during World War II, a moment when Protestant intellectuals were seeking to defend liberal freedoms.

PMID:
30245488
DOI:
10.1353/jhi.2018.0026

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