Contact Information

The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
Faculty of Law
P.O. BOX 4
FI-00014 UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI
Tel: +358 (0)29 4123140

intlaw-institute(at)helsinki.fi

Alma-intranet

Management of the Sacred: A Critical Inquiry

Duration: 1.9.2013-31.8.2018
Funding: Academy of Finland
Researcher: Dr. Pamela Slotte, Academy Researcher


The project highlights normative implications of the human rights regime by studying how human rights as ‘values for a God-less age’ handle 'the sacred'. A central task is the study of normative foundations, so-called systemic prejudices, implicit in the attempts by human rights institutions to manage the sacred. Even the ‘egalitarian imaginary’ of human rights that is ostensibly neutral (agnostic) when it comes to religion carries normative assumptions about law and legal protection, about state, religion, and religious subjectivity. The project inquires into these ontological and epistemological assumptions and normative commitments. It works on the hypothesis that historical notions influence the management of the sacred in contemporary human rights discourse; in doing so, the goal is to make assumptions and commitments visible, and propose an altered way to conceptualize the character of human rights, human rights institutions, and their engagement with the sacred.