Sovereignty: God, State, and Self

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Basic Books, 10.06.2008 - 352 Seiten
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.

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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - 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 ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - 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 ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

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
Urheberrecht

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Beliebte Passagen

Seite 153 - The jurisdiction of the nation within its own territory is necessarily exclusive and absolute. It is susceptible of no limitation not imposed by itself. Any restriction upon it, deriving validity from an external source, would imply a diminution of its sovereignty to the extent of the restriction, and an investment of that sovereignty to the same extent in that power which could impose such restriction.
Seite 104 - In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and, which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty,...
Seite 152 - To the Constitution of the United States the term sovereign is totally unknown. There is but one place where it could have been used with propriety. But, even in that place it would not, perhaps, have comported with the delicacy of those who ordained and established that Constitution. They might have announced themselves "sovereign" people of the United States: But serenely conscious of the fact, they avoided the ostentatious declaration.
Seite 131 - Each of us puts his person and all his power in common under the supreme direction of the general will, and, in our corporate capacity, we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole.
Seite 206 - It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. . . . Three generations of imbeciles are enough.
Seite 97 - Kings are justly called Gods, for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of Divine power upon earth. For if you will consider the Attributes to God, you shall see how they agree in the person of a King.
Seite 154 - I hold that, in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government- proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination.
Seite 102 - For where the very safety of the country depends upon the resolution to be taken, no considerations of justice or injustice, humanity or cruelty, nor of glory or of shame, should be allowed to prevail. But putting all other considerations aside, the only question should be, What course will save the life and liberty of the country...
Seite 154 - Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it, except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself. Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States...

Über den Autor (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 over four hundred essays in scholarly journals and journals of civic opinion, and some one hundred and seventy five book reviews, and was a contributing editor at the New Republic.

Among her books are Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy (Basic, 2001), Just War Against Terror (Basic, 2003) and Democracy on Trial (Basic, 1995). She lives in Nashville, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois.

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