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Died: Jean Bethke Elshtain, Political Scientist Who Fought Academia's 'Dissolving Ideologies'

The Chicago philosopher, who died of a heart condition, 'recognized that faith, family, and patriotic solidarity ennobled the lives of ordinary people.'

University of Chicago political scientist Jean Bethke Elshtain died yesterday. First Things, which broke the news online, reports that Elshtain "was suffering from a debilitating heart condition."

Elshtain, a political philosopher who made it her career goal to "show the connections between our political and our ethical convictions," was among the country's "foremost public intellectuals." CT previously named her one of 50 women to watch last October.

Elshtain grew up in a Lutheran home in rural Colorado and became devout at a very young age. But as she pursued her education throughout the '60s and '70s, Elshtain said in an interview, she "just couldn't figure out how to think about politics without thinking about ethics."

"This really had a confluence with the times: the debates about civil rights and about the Vietnam War came together with my own religious background to point me in the direction of thinking about ...

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