QCAC507E  Human Rights II  Winter 2010,  67/W  H-105A  Instructor: A. Morimoto





This course is designed to help students understand the basic configuration of the problematics pertaining to religious freedom and toleration.  Since the freedom of religion comes foremost on the list of fundamental human rights, a solid grasp of its theoretical background will benefit all who are concerned with particular human rights issues today.  Students will learn the philosophical and religious dimension of the concept, its early history of development, and the necessary tools and framwork to better understand the questions of broader scope.  Is the concept of human rights inherently religious in origin?  If so, how can it be universally applicable?


The course is open to graduate students and qualified upper-level undergraduate students.  Students from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (International Cooperation Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies) are also welcome.





Martha C. Nussbaum, Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality (New York: Basic Books, 2008) will serve as our primary textbook.  The book is available at Amazon.co.jp (around 1,700-yen).  We will read chapters from the book.


The list below contains works relevant to the course theme. 


-John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration (1689)

-Michael Walzer, On Toleration (Yale University Press, 1997)

-John Rawls, The Law of Peoples (Harvard University Press, 2001)


-David Little, John Kelsay, Abdulaziz A. Sachedina, Human Rights and the Conflict of Cutures: Western and Islamic Perspectives on Religious Liberty (University of South Carolina Press, 1988).

-John Witte, Jr. and Johan D. van der Vyver, eds., Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective (Marinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1996).

-Michael J. Perry, The Idea of Human Rights: Four Inquiries (Oxford University Press, 1998)

-Ann Elizabeth Mayer, Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, 3rd edition (Westview Press, 1999).

-Liam Gearon, ed., Human Rights and Religion: A Reader (Sussex Academic Press, 2002).

-Jack Donnelly, Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice, 2nd edition (Cornell University Press, 2003).

-John M. Headley, The Europeanization of the World: On the Origins of Human Rights and Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2007)

-Charles R. Beitz, The Idea of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2009)





a.     Much of the course logistics depends on the student composition.  Please do not miss the first day of the class (12/8), as we will make decisions on the reading assignment and presentation schedule that day.  All students interested in taking the course should attend.


b.     Keep up with the reading assignment and participate in classroom discussion.  Come prepared with questions and comments.


c.     Each student will be asked to make a presentation of about 45 minutes.  The handout should be photocopied for all class members.  Your presentation will be considered successful if it generates informed discussion among participants.


d.     A short paper of about 5 pages, double-spaced, is required at the end of the semester.  Write a succinct summary of what you have found during this course, incorporating the lecture content and classroom discussion.  Due will be announced later.  Please honor and abide by the ICU Policy on Academic Integrity.  (https://w3.icu.ac.jp/webmaster/dean/academic_integrity_e.pdf).





12/8   Introduction








2/16   Wrap-Up





Presentation (40%), contribution to class discussion (30%), final paper (30%).