War, Women, and Political Wisdom: Jean Bethke Elshtain on the Contours of Justice [Book Review]

Journal of Religious Ethics 34 (2):339 - 369 (2006)
Abstract
One of the most perceptive and ambidextrous social commentators of our day, Augustinian scholar Jean Bethke Elshtain furnishes in ever fresh ways through her writings a bridge between the ancient and the modern, between politics and ethics, between timeless moral wisdom and cultural sensitivity. To read Elshtain seriously is to take the study of culture as well as the "permanent things" seriously. But Elshtain is no mere moralist. Neither is she content solely to dwell in the domain of the theoretical. For it is Elshtain the citizen - the creatively engaged and contributing citizen - whom the reader encounters on virtually every page of her writings. But reader beware: Elshtain does not shy away from controversy. At the same time, she is anything but a controversialist. In the essay that follows, several prominent themes that emerge from Elstain's writings - civic responsibility, justice, gender, and war - are considered afresh. Whether one agrees with her positions or not, one is forced to confess in the end that she cares deeply about the common good. And this alone makes her required reading for any engaged citizen of the republic
Keywords citizenship  politics  civic responsibility  war  freedom  ethics  geopolitics  just  justice  feminism  autonomy
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