Elshtain joins faculty as Rockefeller ProfessorJean Bethke Elshtain of Vanderbilt University has joined the Divinity School faculty this quarter as the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics.
Elshtain is the first to hold the Laura Spelman Rockefeller chair, which was endowed by Laurance Rockefeller in honor of his grandmother, who was the wife of the University's founder, John D. Rockefeller.
Elshtain is a political philosopher whose work has focused on the connections between political and ethical convictions. She also has written widely on just war theory. Her books include Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social and Political Thought (1982), Meditations on Modern Political Thought: Masculine/Feminine Themes From Luther to Arendt (1986), Women and War (1986), Power Trips and Other Journeys (1990) and her most recent book, Democracy on Trial (1994). The author of more than 200 essays in scholarly journals and journals of civic opinion, Elshtain is also the editor of The Family in Political Thought (1982) and Just War Theory (1991).
She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1991-92 for work on an intellectual biography of Jane Addams. She has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., where she is currently a member of the board of trustees, and a scholar-in-residence at the Bellagio Conference and Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.
Before coming to Chicago, Elshtain was professor of philosophy and the Centennial Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, where she was the 1991 recipient of Vanderbilt's Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Teaching. She also had been director of the Center for Social and Political Thought at Vanderbilt since 1991. She received her A.B. in 1965 from the University of Colorado and her Ph.D. in 1973 from Brandeis University.