Springer Press has published a new book: Religious Perspectives on Bioethics and Human Rights

Editors: Joseph Tham, Kai Man Kwan, Alberto Garcia


The new volume is a product of the third international “Bioethics, Multiculturalism and Religion” workshop that was held in Hong Kong in 2013 to discuss the question of relationship between universal rights and cultural diversity.


Fr. Joseph Tham, Fellow of the UNESCO Chair, was coordinator of this event held at the Hong Kong Baptist University.


Religious Perspectives on Bioethics and Human Rights intents to investigate the delicate issue of human rights in different cultures and religions. Experts from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Daoism, Hinduism and Confucianism discuss the tension between their religious traditions and the claim of universality of human rights. Among the participants were collaborators of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, including chairholder Alberto Garcia who is also co-editor of this book.


In this work, certain writers find the human rights language too individualistic and it is foreign to major religions where the self does not exist in isolation, but is normally immersed in a web of relations and duties towards family, friends, religion community, and society.


One of the main topics discussed in the book regards how the human rights discourse is predominantly Western liberal ideal, which in bioethics is translated to mean autonomy and free choice making the East-West contrast particularly evident. In today’s democratic societies, laws have been drafted to protect individuals and communities against slavery, discrimination, torture or genocide.  However, it is not clear to what extent universal rights supersede respect for cultural diversity and pluralism.


In accordance with one of the areas of interest of the UNESCO Chair, Bioethics, Multiculturalism and Religion, the collection of articles inside Religious Perspectives on Bioethics and Human Rights book, demonstrates a rich selection of positions among different religions, as they confront the ever more pressing issues of bioethics and human rights in the modern world.


The UNESCO Chair first concern is to promote and protect the common human rights of all issues. Cooperating in the realization of workshops and publications regarding contemporary debates on religious ethics, human rights, bioethics, cultural diversity and multiculturalism, the Chair persists with its experience in fostering the art of convergence and cooperation in global ethics gathering scholars and experts to promote dialogue and the dissemination of bioethical principles.

Go to Publications and Resources and click on the link Springer.it to buy a copy of the book.