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Democracy, Culture, CatholicismVoices from Four Continents$
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Michael J. Schuck and John Crowley-Buck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267309

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Foundations of Human Rights: The Work of Francisco de Vitoria, OP

Foundations of Human Rights: The Work of Francisco de Vitoria, OP

(p.280) Foundations of Human Rights: The Work of Francisco de Vitoria, OP
Democracy, Culture, Catholicism

Robert John Araujo

Fordham University Press

Robert Araujo reflects on the role of the Natural Law in both the American experience of Catholicism and in the global experience of human rights. To do this, Araujo turns to the sixteenth-century philosopher and legal theorist Francisco de Vitoria, O.P., who was a strong proponent of both the Natural Law and human rights. Seen most clearly in his De Indis, de Vitoria offers an argument in favor of the inherent dignity and inviolable rights of the inhabitants of the New World, whom he identifies as human persons with equal dignity and rights to their European counterparts. This argument put de Vitoria at odds with many of his contemporaries, yet it remained influential as a line of Natural Law thinking in the Catholic Church, finding its way into both the contemporary discourse of human rights and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). De Vitoria’s influence stretches beyond the borders of the United States. He has made formidable contributions to the discourse of human rights, the separation of Church and State, and the religious freedoms many people share today.

Keywords:   Catholicism, De Indis, dignity, Francisco de Vitoria, O.P, human rights, natural law, UDHR, United Nations, United States

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