|Virpi Mäkinen, Professor in Philosophy of Religion (acting) (University of Helsinki)
The notion of rights in the processes of recognizing pagans and infidels in late medieval and early modern political thought
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN 1948) states in its Preamble that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. My aim is to look at the theological, philosophical and juridical roots of this “recognition” in late medieval and early modern discussion on individual rights. In this project, I will especially focus on the discussion of the rights of pagans and infidels. One important period was the discovery of America and the discussion on the rights of native Americans. I will also pay attention to the emergence of minority treatment practices especially in the discussion on “savages” in early modern sources.