Respected Christian ethicist Jean Bethke Elshtain finds in the tensions and tragedies of our turn-of-the-century society hope in the recovery of personhood. She explores the internal and external trappings that so easily lead us to forget how to be faithful to something other than ourselves.
This is a work of political analysis, cultural criticism, and theological engagement. Elshtain suggests that much of what we rightly interpret as troubling presents fascinating interpretive occasions for Christians, who, of all people, are called to live in hope. She highlights in particular certain aspects of youth culture, taking up popular films like "Seven and "Titanic and tragedies like the shootings at Columbine High School. What she finds running through all of these are examples of courage and a search for a source of truth and meaning that seems to elude so many.
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.