Thursday, December 2, 2010

Talal Asad on the History of the Idea of Humanity

Talal Asad's speech given at Berkeley Center

Berkley Center Event: Reflections on the Origins of Human Rights, featuring Talal Asad (9/28/09)

Event Webpage:

The enormous academic interest in human rights is reflected in several excellent histories. Although there has been some disagreement over the origins of human rights, most scholars acknowledge their modern European provenance. In his talk, Talal Asad took it for granted that their origins do not make human rights inappropriate to non-European cultures. Through a discussion of two recent contributions -- John Headley's The Europeanization of the World; On the Origins of Human Rights and Democracy, and Lynn Hunt's Inventing Human Rights-- he explored two concepts generally regarded as central to human rights: "humanity" and "sympathy. This event was co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.


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