Mellon Distinguished Lecture Series 2014: Lecture Two

| The Golkin Room in Houston Hall at the University of Pennsylvania

Mellon Distinguished Lecture Series 2014

The Mellon Distinguished Lecture Series is sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania Press, the Penn Law School, the Department of History at Penn, the Perry World House, and the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism. The 2014 series runs from November 18 to 20 in the Golkin Room in Houston Hall at the University of Pennsylvania, located at 3417 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. All lectures in the series are free and open to the public.

Christian Human Rights

Samuel Moyn
Professor of Law and History at Harvard University

Associated with the secular left after the French Revolution and in our day, universal human rights in the 1940s were to a surprising extent associated with the Christian right. These lectures explore how and why this connection developed—and its legacies in our time.

Professor Moyn, a leading expert in twentieth-century legal and intellectual history, is the author of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History, editor of the interdisciplinary journal Humanity, and a regular contributor to The Nation and other leading journals. 

LECTURE TWO: The Human Person and the Reinvention of Conservatism 

Wednesday, November 19, 5:00PM

The Golkin Room in Houston Hall at the University of Pennsylvania
3417 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Turning to the broader social philosophy in which dignity and rights suddenly became central to Christian thinking, this lecture focuses on the philosopher Jacques Maritain, examining how he reformulated conservatism across the period of the 1930s and 1940s as a response to the failure (or military defeat) of reactionary conservatism in the Second World War. Most at stake in examining his thinking is whether the originally liberal concept of human rights changed conservatism—or conservatism changed human rights—in an era when they were suddenly combined.

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