Original Research

Providence, conscience of liberty and benevolence – the implications of Luther’s and Calvin’s views on natural law for fundamental rights

Andries Raath
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 41, No 3 | a313 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v41i3.313 | © 2007 Andries Raath | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2007 | Published: 27 July 2007

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Andries Raath, Department of Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Prof. Johan van der Vyver recently identified a need for a Scriptural foundation of human rights. In this article it is argued that together with their evangelical perspectives, Luther’s and Calvin’s Ciceronian re-interpretation of Thomism produced very important perspectives for establishing the moral context of a Scriptural basis for fundamental rights and duties. The impli- cations of the views of both Luther and Calvin on fundamental duties and justice presuppose a moral context from which is- sues related to human rights can be approached. In that regard the views of Luther and Calvin still have much to contribute towards developing an evangelical approach to human rights.


Human Rights; Justice; Luther Martin; Natural Law


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