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Keywords:

  • human rights;
  • moral justification;
  • relativism;
  • religions;
  • rights of belief;
  • toleration

In reviewing five edited collections and one monograph from the 1990s, the article summarizes the present status of the “human rights revolution” that was signaled by the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It goes on to elaborate and evaluate some of the attempts contained in these books to deal with theoretical and practical controversies surrounding the subject of human rights, particularly the discussion of what to make of “cultural relativism” as far as human rights are concerned. Finally, the article summarizes some recent thinking and research on a neglected area, namely compliance with human rights standards protecting “freedom of religion or belief.”