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Christian human rights: a conversation with Samuel Moyn

How the Catholic Church learned to love human rights

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

On Christmas Day 1942, when the Second World War had yet to take a decisive turn in the Allies’ favour, Pope Pius XII delivered his seasonal message. It was entitled “Dignity of the Human Person” and announced the Church’s commitment to “respect for and the practical realisation of… fundamental personal rights.” In his new book, “Christian Human Rights,” the American intellectual historian (and occasional Prospect contributor) Samuel Moyn describes Pius’s invocation of the “unforgettable rights of man” as…

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