Towards a Theology of Communication Rights
Keywords:communication rights, humanity, social justice, theology
A conspicuous absence in the field of communication and theology presents a challenge to theologians and communicators alike. It is the absence of a theology of communication rights, which this chapter seeks to address by identifying “pointers” drawing on the theory and practice of communication for development, the “capability approach,” and the right to communicate debate. It argues that, if globalization is to have moral validity, it must bring with it an enhanced sense of globalized humanity. As such, we must ask if we are willing to live in a world with disenfranchised people – the “new slaves” of society. If not, we are obliged by our faith and our common humanity to take responsibility for the world’s failings. Unless we work to understand the structures and inadequacies that enable marginalization and oppression to persist, and unless we take action to change them, we are complicit with injustice.
Christians, C., and M. Traber. 1997. Communication Ethics and Universal Values. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Communication for Social Change Consortium. http://www.communicationforsocialchange. org/roots
CRIS Campaign. 2005. Assessing Communication Rights: A Handbook. http://www.crisinfo.org/ pdf/ggpen.pdf.
D’Arcy, J. 1969. “Direct Broadcast Satellites and the Right to Communicate,” EBU Review, 118, 14–18.
Declaration Toward a Global Ethic. 1993. Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago, USA, 4 September.
Girard, B., and S. Ó Siochrú eds. 2003. Communicating in the Information Society. Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).
Gutiérrez, G. 1974. A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation. London: SCM Press.
Habermas, J. 1984. Theorie des Kommuikativen Handelns, Band I, Handlungsrationalität und gesellschaftliche Rationalisierung; Band II, Zur Kritik der funktionalistischen Vernunft. The Theory of Communicative Action. Vol. I: Reason and the Rationalization of Society, trans. Thomas McCarthy. London: Heinemann.
—1987. The Theory of Communicative Action. Vol. II: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, trans. Thomas McCarthy. Cambridge: Polity Press.
—1992. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action, trans. Christian Lenhardt and Shierry Weber Nicholsen. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Hamelink, Cees J. forthcoming. “A Right to Communicate and its Violability,” in Robert Fortner and Mark Fackler eds. Ethics and Evil in the Public Sphere: Media, Universal Values and Global Development. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Holloway, R. 2001. Doubts and Loves: What is Left of Christianity. Edinburgh: Canongate.
Kienzler, K., 1994. “The Church as Communion and Communication,” in P. Granfield ed. The Church and Communication. Kansas City: Sheed & Ward, 80–96.
King, Martin Luther, 1967. “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” Speech, New York City, 4 April. http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/publications/speeches/Beyond_ Vietnam.pdf
Lee, P., ed. 2004. Many Voices, One Vision: The Right to Communicate in Practice. Penang: Southbound.
Nussbaum, M. C. 2000. Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
—2003. “Capabilities as Fundamental Entitlement: Sen and Social Justice,” Feminist Economics, 9(2–3), 33–59. doi:10.1080/1354570022000077926
Nussbaum, M. C., and A. K. Sen eds. 1993. The Quality of Life. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
The Original New Testament. 1985. Edited and translated from the Greek by Hugh J. Schonfield. London: Firethorn Press.
Panos, 2007. At the Heart of Change: The Role of Communication in Sustainable Development. London: Panos.
Puebla, 1979. Evangelization in Latin America’s Present and Future. Conference of Latin American Bishops, in Media Development, Vol. XXXI, 1/1984, 24–25.
Qizilbash, M. 1998. “The Concept of Well-Being,” Economics and Philosophy, 14, 51–73. doi:10.1017/S0266267100004934
Sen, A. K. 1985. Commodities and Capabilities. Oxford: Elsevier Sciences.
—1999. Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
—2004. “Capabilities, Lists and Public Reasoning: Continuing the Conversation,” Feminist Economics, 10.3, 77–80. doi:10.1080/1354570042000315163
Servaes, J., and M. Patchanee. 2005. “Participatory Communication: The New Paradigm?” in O. Hemer and T. Tufte eds. Media and Glocal Change: Rethinking Communication for Development. Oslo: NORDICOM/CLACSO.
Shaping Information Societies for Human Needs. 2003. Civil Society Declaration to the World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva, 8 December.
Sivaraksa, S. 2001. “Culture and Reconciliation,” Media Development 4. London: WACC, 38–41.
Sobrino, J. 2007. “Epilogue,” in Getting the Poor Down from the Cross: Christology of Liberation. International Theological Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT). Second Digital Version. Version 2.0.
Tester, K. 1997. Moral Culture. London: SAGE Publications.
Traber, M. 1997. “Conclusion: An Ethics of Communication Worthy of Human Beings,” in C. Christians and M. Traber eds. Communication Ethics and Universal Values. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 327–43.
—1999. “Communication is Inscribed in Human Nature: A Philosophical Enquiry into the Right to Communicate,” idoc internazionale, 30(1, 2). Rome: International Documentation and Documentation Centre (IDOC), 2–9.
UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). 2007. “Human Rights and the Millennium Development Goals: Making the Link.” Oslo: UNDP.
Williams, B. 1987. “The Standard of Living: Interests and Capabilities,” in G. Hawthorn ed. The Standard of Living. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 94–102.
World Forum on Communication Rights. 2003. “Statement on Communication Rights: Vision and Context,” presented during the World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva, 11 December. http://www.worldsummit2003.de/en/web/602.htm
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.