1. Students know and understand the most important (theological)-ethical theories on human dignity;
2. Students can analyse and critically evaluate debates on the relationship between the concept of human dignity and end-of-life discussions from a theological perspective;
3. Students can analyse and critically evaluate discussions on the relationship between human dignity and human rights from a theological perspective;
4. Students can relate these debates to their own socio-political and religious contexts;
5. Students can contribute to a constructive account of a politics of care within their own socio-political contexts.
In this course we will start with an historical, conceptual and theological exploration of the concept of human dignity. We analyse different meanings and uses, such as: dignity as merit, dignity as an inalienable right, dignity as the capacity for self-determination and autonomy, and dignity as human flourishing. We will relate these views to theological views on human dignity.|
Along two lines we will elaborate on this theoretical exploration: 1. along the line of the relationship between dignity and human rights including the debate on the historical and systematic foundation of both concepts in the Christian tradition and 2. along the line of the role human dignity plays within end-of life decisions and debates, starting from the debates on euthanasia in the Netherlands, again including theological positions within this debate.
In a third step we bring the different elements of this course together and make an effort to formulate a ‘politics of care’. All students can contribute from their own contexts to a theologically valid justification of care for the dignity of vulnerable people and to the ways these can be shaped in various, religiously plural, political contexts.