Lunch Lecture: "What Does Human Dignity Mean and Why Should We Care?"


Location: Oak Room, South Dining Hall

Christopher McCrudden

Join Christopher McCrudden, professor of human rights and equality law at Queens University Belfast, for a reflection on the meaning and import of the concept of human dignity.

International human rights purport to be based on the principle of "human dignity," and references to it are now commonplace in political discourse and judicial opinions throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, the Commonwealth, North and South America, and the Global South. For such an omnipresent and core idea, "human dignity" has become more, not less, controversial since its inclusion in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948.

What does "human dignity" mean? What hangs on the different meanings that have been attributed to it? And why is it so controversial, both from the Left and the Right, from religious adherents and proponents of secularism? Based on recent examples, the lecture explores what these debates say about the contested understanding of human rights, and indeed what it means to be human, in our current political and legal systems.

Lecture begins at 12:30 p.m., with lunch available beginning at noon. No RSVP required; all are welcome.


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