Participation and the Human Person
What is the relationship between solidarity and human rights? In answering this question, this dissertation argues that human rights and solidarity are mutually dependent upon one another; and second, that the virtue of solidarity is habituated and cultivated through the practicing respect for human rights. In order to make this argument, this dissertation follows in three main parts. First, it examines recent Catholic social teachings (John XXIII to John Paul II) on the themes of human rights and solidarity. The purpose is to detail the development of teaching on human rights and solidarity and begin to examine the relationship between the two. Second, it seeks to provide a normative argument for a clearer relationship between solidarity and human rights through a deeper investigation of the human person as participatory in philosophical and theological anthropology. To accomplish this, I use the philosophical anthropology of Charles Taylor and a theological anthropology grounded in the imago dei, contemporary Trinitarian theologies and covenantal theology. Finally, it shows that understanding human rights and solidarity as foundational for the person has implications for ethical policy concerning human rights, through engagement with developmental economist and human rights theorist Amartya Sen. From this, I argue that human rights and solidarity are mutually dependent. It is my assertion that human rights cannot be realized without solidarity, and vice versa. Furthermore, one cannot acquire the virtue of solidarity, as a second nature, except through the praxis of respect for human rights. In this relationship between human rights and solidarity, I contend that Catholic social thought can offer an important contribution to the philosophical and political debates about moral obligations for human rights and the emerging responsibility to protect doctrine.