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Renowned author and political thinker Jean Bethke Elshtain to speak at SXU

Saint Xavier University Honors Program presents eighth annual guest lecture

Chicago (Jan. 26, 2007) – Saint Xavier University will present its eighth annual Honors Program Guest Lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Butler Reception Room of the Warde Academic Center, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago.

This year’s notable speaker will be Jean Bethke Elshtain, who will present a lecture titled, “What Does it Mean to be Human?: C.S. Lewis on ‘The Abolition of Man.’” During World War II, C.S. Lewis penned an essay called “The Abolition of Man,” in which he argued that people in the last half of the 20th century faced the loss of their humanity. Elshtain will examine Lewis’ essay and ask if we remain in the danger zone that he identified.

Elshtain is a professor of social and political ethics in the University of Chicago Divinity School. At times a controversial figure, she is known for her work with the “just war theory” and was initially supportive of the American invasion of Iraq. Throughout her career, she has focused on connections between human ethical and political convictions, as well as the powerful role of women in sustaining cultural values. 

Author, lecturer and contributing editor for The New Republic, Elshtain has written more than 500 essays that have been published in scholarly journals and journals of civic opinion. Among her books are Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy (2002); New Wine in Old Bottles: International Politics and Ethical Discourse (1998); Democracy on Trial (1995); Women and War (1987); and Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social and Political Thought (1981).  
Her most recent book, Just War against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (2003), was praised by the New York Times for challenging simplistic assumptions about the war against terror and offering instead “intellectual clarity.” Publisher’s Weekly named it one of the best non-fiction books of 2003. 

The event is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by Saint Xavier University’s Honors Program, a program designed to provide an enriched academic experience for gifted and highly motivated undergraduate students. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Religion and Public Discourse. For more information about the lecture, please contact Judith Hiltner, director of the Honors Program, at (773) 298-3230 or hiltner@sxu.edu.


 Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University was the first Mercy college in the United States and is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. Serving approximately 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago, Orland Park and its Loop location, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors; more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing; and a variety of program options in continuing and professional studies. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest.