Comparing Hans Joas’s book (Die Sakralität der Person, Berlin 2011) with its critique by Anton Leist (“Kann personale Heiligkeit Menschenrechte fördern?”, in this journal), I differentiate different fields of combat. The mainstream of Leist’s criticism is, I think, misdirected. Leist accuses Joas of ‘Christianising’ human rights, which alleges a binary logic (either religious or secular justifications of human rights) that does not do justice to Joas’s approach. For Joas, human rights are something in their own right which emerged from secular and religious discourse and hence cannot be reduced to either of them. I criticize Leist’s effort to draft a new justification of human rights in terms of interests and the counter-intuitive and revisionary consequences of this. Here, Joas’s ‘experientalism’ is to be preferred, because it remains loyal to human rights (that is the point of “affirmative genealogy”). I agree with Leist’s claim, however, that Joas could have made a much stronger case for the secular version of his argument, perhaps by using other authors. As it stands now, Joas’s book can be (mis)read as an effort to re-Christianise human rights. (This would no longer be affirmative, but revisionary as well.) The idea of an „affirmative genealogy“ is an ingenious methodological innovation that allows the combination of normative philosophy with sociological contextualisation (this latter usually has a rather destructive effect on ‘meaning‘). Yet the question remains whether a contextualisation of peoples experiences and emotions, which leads them to believing in certain norms, can also be read as a philosophical justification of these norms.