Meditations on Modern Political Thought: Masculine/Feminine Themes from Luther to Arendt

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It covers a number of masculine-feminine themes in the history of political and social thought in an easy-to-read style, and so is accessible to undergraduates. The section on Freud is very good. It also illustrates the themes that are characteristic of Elshtain’s longer and more difficult books. It is thus a good introduction to feminist readings of the canon without throwing the reader off with jargon and density of prose.”
—James Tully, McGill University

“In some ways I like to compare this book to Alasdair MacIntyre’s wonderful A Short History of Ethics. The reason is that it so challenges conventionalities about what constitutes political theory. Therefore, Elshtain’s beginning with Luther is a wonderful way to show how so much of political liberalism embodied in Kant presumed a Lutheran distinction between the two kingdoms in a manner that we have suffered from ever since. . . . The book is written eloquently and with great grace that makes it accessible to a wide range of readers about issues that matter.”
—Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University

“Elshtain offers a very distinctive and important approach to feminism in political thought—an approach which deserves to be pondered in the years to come.”
—Fred Dallmayr, University of Notre Dame

“This would be a refreshing text for any course on modern political thought or feministic political theory. It raises, as perhaps few other texts at this level of accessibility do, the whole range of issues surrounding the construction of the self which underlie gender studies and contemporary political thought.”
—Shane Phelan, Women and Politics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271008646
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2001
  • Series: Women and Politics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Bethke Elshtain is Centennial Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University and author of several books, including Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social and Political Thought (1981) and Women and War (1987).

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Table of Contents


Preface: On Writing This Text ix

Acknowledgments xiii

1. Introduction: On Reading This Text 1

2. Luther's Two Kingdoms and the Eclipse of the Female [Mater Ecclesiae] 5

3. Kant and Rational Politics: Woman as a Suspect Category 21

4. Rousseau Redux: Bodies Social and Political 37

5. Feminism and Citizenship: Liberalism and Its Discontents 55

6. Self/Other, Citizen/State: G. W. F. Hegel and Jane Addams 71

7. Freud and the Therapeutic Society: Homo Politicus or Homo Psychologicus? 85

8. War and Political Discourse: From Machiavelli to Arendt 103

9. A Concluding Chapter That Doesn't 115

Bibliography 119

Index 127

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