August 13, 2013
Elshtain on "Sovereignty: God, State, and Self"
As has been noted, political theorist Jean Bethke Elshtain -- a "political scientist unafraid to talk God," in The Atlantic's words -- died the other day. (Here is another notice, from Commonweal and here is yet another, from the University of Chicago.)
Elshtain wrote a lot, to put it mildly, and I know that many of us here at MOJ have been formed in various ways by engaging with her work. To mention just one project of hers: I think her Gifford Lectures, "Sovereignty: God, State, and Self", were wide-ranging, provocative, and important. (Here's one review, from First Things in 2009.) (And, while I'm at it, one might review, at the same time, some of the work by our Patrick Brennan, who is critical of the notion of "sovereignty" as it is used in American constitutional law.)
I remember her heated exchange ten years ago with theologians Stanley Haeurwas and Paul Griffiths about the morality of the war on terrorism (http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/01/war-peace-amp-jean-bethke-elshtain-17). Readers may be interested to know that her work on the justification of war and the gender aspects of armed combat will be the themes of the fourth and final conference the University of Chicago Divinity School is hosting in recognition of her philosophical and theological contributions (http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/conferences/engagedmind)
Posted by: Clement Ng | Aug 13, 2013 1:11:40 PM
"A state, that by supreme judicial self-profession is axiologically incompetent to pass on questions of the meaning or value of human life, is demonstrably not sovereign or possessed of sovereign dignity." - Patrick Brennan
Posted by: Nancy D. | Aug 13, 2013 3:14:30 PM
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