Civil Religion, Human Rights and International Relations
Show Less

Civil Religion, Human Rights and International Relations

Connecting People Across Cultures and Traditions

Edited by Helle Porsdam

This ground breaking book discusses whether human rights can be forged into a common set of transcendent principles against which actions of every nation can be judged and whether such a common understanding, or civil religion, could one day become a vehicle for global peace.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 4: Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism

Joel H. Rosenthal


Joel H. Rosenthal Is it possible to be faithful to both one’s country and to the world? The exchange between Helle Porsdam and Paul Kahn provides a window into the paradox of patriotism and cosmopolitanism. Americans have a natural inclination to combine particular national interests with universal moral aspirations, sometimes naively and even dangerously so. America’s civil religion – and its narrative as developed in the Declaration of Independence, the constitution, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, and Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms – all bind America’s story to a universal story. There can be no doubt, as Porsdam illustrates, that America sees itself as a moral nation with a moral purpose. And yet, as Kahn points out, isn’t it asking a bit much to expect others to see it the same way? GLOBALIZATION AND A NEW AGE OF RIGHTS When the Cold War ended, a new era of globalization began in earnest. It brought with it a new age of rights. We live now with intense flows of capital, of information, of people, and of pollution, raising profound issues of human concern and human values. The simplest elements of daily life – air, water, food, clothes, and money – all of these basic goods are more visibly connected to the global economy and environment than ever before. Access to, and use of, these goods leads to concerns for basic rights. In this new age of globalization, it is not much of a leap to see how the ‘local’ becomes connected quickly and profoundly to the ‘global’. New choices...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.