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Donald W. Landry

Jean Bethke Elshtain, Ph.D.

Council Member

Jean Elshtain is a political philosopher whose task has been to show the connections between our political and ethical convictions. Her books include Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social Thought ; The Family in Political Thought ; Meditations on Modern Political Thought ; Women and War; Democracy on Trial (a New York Times “Notable Book” for 1995); Augustine and the Limits of Politics ; Real Politics: At the Center of Everyday Life ; New Wine in Old Bottles: Politics and Ethical Discourse ; and Who Are We? Critical Reflections, Hopeful Possibilities , for which she received the Theologos Award for Best Academic Book 2000 by the Association of Theological Booksellers. In 2002, she published a book, Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy , and an edited volume, The Jane Addams Reader , which won second place for biography in 2002 from the Society of Midland Authors. In 2003, she published Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World , which was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2003 by Publishers Weekly . In addition to her book-length studies, Professor Elshtain writes widely for journals of civic opinion, and lectures, both in the United States and abroad, on whether democracy will prove sufficiently robust and resilient to survive. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Council on Civil Society. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University and is currently on the Board of Trustees of the National Humanities Center and on the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy. She has been a Phi Beta Kappa lecturer, is the recipient of nine honorary degrees, and received the 2002 Frank J. Goodnow Award, the American Political Science Association's highest award for distinguished service to the profession. In 2003, Professor Elshtain was the second holder of the Maguire Chair in Ethics at the Library of Congress.

In 2006, she was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and also delivered the prestigious Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh, joining such previous Gifford Lecturers as William James, Hannah Arendt, Karl Barth, and Reinhold Niebuhr. The lectures are forthcoming under the title Sovereignties: God, State, and Self (2008).

Professor Elshtain also currently serves as co-chair of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life; and chair of the Council on Families in America. She was chair of the Council on Civil Society; and a member of the National Commission for Civic Renewal and the Penn Commission on American Culture and Society (1996-1999). She was a Phi Beta Kappa Scholar for 1997-1998. She served as vice-president of the American Political Science Association for the 1998-99 academic year. She is a member of the Board of the Illinois Humanities Council.

Jean Bethke Elshtain is married and the mother of four children: Sheri, Heidi, Jenny, and Eric -- and the grandmother of three: JoAnn Paulette Welch and Christopher Matthew Welch; and Robert Paul Bethke.

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