Do religions merely add to global tensions today? Should religions be excluded from the human rights debate? Politically, a mounting tension between eastern and western cultures on the subject of human rights seems to continue. However, in examining two divergent religious worldviews on that topic, Buddhism and Christianity, Soko finds agreement, complementarity, and advocacy. In addition, both traditions stress duties toward the environment as a necessary component in the human rights discussion. Thus, Soko emphasizes the importance of the role of religion in the continuing development of a global ethic and the priority of the concept of human rights in working toward global social justice. He concludes that religions advocacy for human rights offers a shining alternative to the dark failure of the fundamentalist worldview . . . and also stands in contrast to a secular, relativist culture which denies our common humanity and our responsibilities toward the earth.
“In this book Keith Soko has done what few have dared and none have done better. He has built a bridge between theistic and non-theistic religions. With exquisite ecumenical sensitivity and scholarly depth Soko enriches the contemporary discussion on human rights by exposing the natural links between Jewish and Christian biblical prophecy and the Buddhist stress on interdependency and mindfulness.” Daniel C. Maguire, Professor of Ethics, Theology Department, Marquette University, and president of the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health, and Ethics.
Keith Soko, PhD, is Associate Professor of Moral Theology and Chair of the Theology Department at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.