Elshtain, Jean (Bethke)


Jean Paulette Bethke, daughter of Paul Bethke & Helen Lind, was born 6 January 1914 in Windsor, Colorado.  Her mother's ancestors come from the Volga German colonies of Kautz, Dönhof, and Dietel.

Dr. Elshtain was a preminent scholar of religion and political philosophy.  She earned degrees from Colorado State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Colorado, and Brandeis University.  She held faculty positions at the University of Massachusetts and Vanderbilt University, and at the time of her death Elshtain was the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. She was the author of numerous books including Women and War (University of Chicago Press), Augustine and the Limits of Politics (University of Notre Dame Press), and Real Politics: At the Center of Everyday Life (Johns Hopkins University Press).

Elshtain was also was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow and fellow at the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation; holder of the Maguire Chair in Ethics at the Library of Congress; and a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., where she also served on the board of trustees. She was a Phi Beta Kappa Lecturer, and in 2002, she received the Goodnow Award, the highest award bestowed by the American Political Science Association for distinguished service to the profession. She served on the boards of the National Humanities Center and the National Endowment for Democracy, and was a member of the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Scholars Council of the Library of Congress.

Dr. Elshtain died on 11 August 2013 at the age of 72 and is buried in Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins, Colorado.


- Jean Bethke Elshtain (wikipedia)

Volga Colonies: 

Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain.
Source: University of Chicago.