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Jean Bethke Elshtain

Associate Scholar, Religious Freedom Project

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Jean Bethke Elshtain was the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago from 1996 until her death in August 2013. She also had appointments at Chicago in political science and the Committee on International Relations. Her works have focused on the intersections of religious ethics, war, the family, feminist theory, democracy, and modern political thought. Elshtain had taught at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Vanderbilt University, with visiting professor positions at Oberlin College, Yale University, and Harvard University; she also held the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Chair in the Foundations of American Freedom at Georgetown University. Among her hundreds of publications are Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (2003) and Who Are We? Critical Reflections, Hopeful Possibilities (2000); her 2006 Gifford lectures were published under the title Sovereignties: God, State, and Self (2008). She was an associate scholar with the Berkley Center's Religious Freedom Project from 2011 through 2013. Elshtain earned her B.A. and M.A. from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1973.