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"On the Righteousness of Rights," by Susan R. Holman

On the Righteousness of Rights

By: Susan R. Holman

Some years ago I was teaching a continuing education course at Providence College on the history of Christian responses to poverty. A fresh-hatched PhD, I could reflect at length on the early Church and a small collection of Cappadocian sermons. But when it came to subject matter after, say, the sixth century, I was at best a running half-step ahead of my students. One day mid-semester, lecturing on what I had learned only days earlier, I found myself praising liberation theology and its ideal of human rights within biblical principles as a near-perfect ideal when, from the back of the room, a veteran nun raised her hand. She had recently returned from years among the poor in Central America.

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