The magazine’s Theo Hobson was bemused by the fact that Kennedy overlooked Christianity as being at the heart of human rights even when one of the interviewees said that religion was paramount in this regard:
but Kennedy failed to pursue this with real curiosity.
No Christian theologian was consulted.
Instead, Mesopotamia and Buddhism were invoked by human rights lawyers and non-Western participants. One imagines they mentioned the Code of Hammurabi, named after the ruler of Babylonia who developed it, in 1754 BC. Babylonia was part of Mesopotamia. Incidentally, the ‘talk‘ page of the Code of Hammurabi has an intense discussion about its relationship to Mosaic Law. Revisionists claim Moses took his codes from the Babylonian.
Kennedy grew up in a devoutly Catholic home, yet did nothing to defend the faith despite the fact that she remains a practising Catholic.
As Theo Hobson points out, it was only the spread of Christianity, greatly aided by the Reformation and the Enlightenment, which saw human rights become what they are today:
It was the Christian West that gradually heaved such aspirations into politics. It was in Protestant lands, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that the crucial right to freedom of conscience took root – modern citizenship flowed from this. And as one of the contributors said, it’s only within nation states that rights are really secure.
It’s a pity Hobson couldn’t have been on instead. But, then, that wouldn’t have fit into the BBC’s agenda. Or Kennedy’s, one suspects.