Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2013.
Jean Bethke Elshtain, the eminent University of Chicago scholar who died last month at age 72, was a little lady from a small town in Colorado who became a giant in the field of political philosophy. She gained her stature not by conforming to the orthodoxies of the modern academy, but by frequently offering compelling reasons to reject them.
In a milieu dominated by secularism, she embraced religious faith, in the end becoming a Catholic. Defying the radical feminism of the 1970s, she rejected abortion as the taking of innocent human life and defended marriage as normative for sexual conduct.
Of all her academic heresies, however, none was more upsetting to Elshtain’s colleagues than her support for aggressive military action against terrorist organizations and, a decade ago, her defense of the war in Iraq. Having written about the politics and morality of war since the beginning of her career in the 1970s, Elshtain insisted that America’s conflict with al Qaeda was not a matter of international law enforcement, as some insisted. It was a war….
Wall Street Journal