Following on the heels of his critically acclaimed God of Abraham (Oxford, 1996), Lenn E. Goodman here focuses on rights, their grounding in the deserts of beings, and the dignity of persons. In an incisive contemporary dialogue between reason and revelation, Goodman argues for ethical standards and public policies that respect human rights and support the preservation of all beings: animals, plants, econiches, species, habitats, and the monuments of nature and culture. Immersed in the Jewish and philosophical sources, Goodmans argument ranges from the fetus in the womb to the modern nation state, from the problems of pornography and tobacco advertising to the rights of parents and children, individuals and communities, the powerful and powerless--the most ancient and the most immediate problems of human life and moral responsibility. Guided by the probing argumentation that Goodman lays out with distinctive, often poetic clarity, the reader will emerge enlightened and prepared to respond with intelligence and commitment to the sobering moral challenges of the coming century. This is a book for anyone concerned with law, ethics, and the human prospect.