This unit will trace the historical development and understanding of human rights and their relation to justice. It will examine some influential contemporary theories of justice and human rights and explore how they have found expression and consensual agreement in internationally ratified documents. These documents will be studied in detail. Particular attention will be given to the Roman Catholic understanding of justice and rights and how they found expression in official Catholic documents and in the writings of Catholic theologians. Finally, this unit will explore a range of contemporary social issues such as: immigration and refugees, cultural identity and diversity; religious liberty and freedom of worship; the role of political authority vis a vis the political rights, responsibilities and participation of citizens; the tragedies of genocides and works of national reconciliation in the aftermath; torture; moral responsibility for the environment; modern forms of slavery; and capital punishment.

Unit Code: DT2012Y

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit Discipline: Moral Theology

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning Outcomes


Describe the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights


Articulate the philosophical and theological foundations of the various conflicting justice and human rights positions in public discourse.


Engage in critical dialogue with diverse positions on justice and human rights issues in regard to the foundations for justice and rights


Discuss the conflicting rights, duties, and responsibilities that public authorities face when formulating public policies that affect human rights

Unit sequence

DT1000Y or equivalent


Class presentations, discussions, lectures, films, and videos


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Seminar or Tutorial

Class Tutorial 1500-Word

1500 30.0

Major Essay 3000-Word

3000 70.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Dec, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-27 08:26:48 +1000