Sovereignty: God, State, and Self

Front Cover
Basic Books, 2008 - Fiction - 354 pages
7 Reviews
Throughout the history of human intellectual endeavor, sovereignty has cut across the diverse realms of theology, political thought, and psychology. From earliest Christian worship to the revolutionary ideas of Thomas Jefferson and Karl Marx, the debates about sovereignty--complete independence and self-government--have dominated our history.

In this seminal work of political history and political theory, leading scholar and public intellectual Jean Bethke Elshtain examines the origins and meanings of "sovereignty" as it relates to all the ways we attempt to explain our world: God, state, and self. Examining the early modern ideas of God which formed the basis for the modern sovereign state, Elshtain carries her research from theology and philosophy into psychology, showing that political theories of state sovereignty fuel contemporary understandings of sovereignty of the self. As the basis of sovereign power shifts from God, to the state, to the self, Elshtain uncovers startling realities often hidden from view. Her thesis consists in nothing less than a thorough-going rethinking of our intellectual history through its keystone concept.

The culmination of over thirty years of critically applauded work in feminism, international relations, political thought, and religion, Sovereignty opens new ground for our understanding of our own culture, its past, present, and future.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
1
3 stars
2
2 stars
2
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

The most infuriating book I've read in a very, very long time. Elshtain's 'argument' (maybe 'statement' is a better word) is that the idea of sovereignty can be traced from a Thomist sovereign God of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kant1066 - LibraryThing

The idea of sovereignty, like almost any other politically or culturally meaningful term, was not born in a vacuum, remaining unchanged through the centuries. In many ways, Elshtain's "Sovereignty" is ... Read full review

Contents

1
1
2
29
3
57
4
77
5
91
6
119
7
137
8
159
9
181
10
203
11
227
AN AFTERWORD 1992
247
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
249
NOTES
251
INDEX
321
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Jean Bethke Elshtain is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Just War Against Terror and Democracy on Trial , among other books. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois.

Bibliographic information