Christian Ethics in Conversation

Christian Ethics in Conversation

A Festschrift in Honor of Donald W. Shriver Jr., 13th President of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York


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Inspired by Donald W. Shriver Jr.'s leadership of Union Theological Seminary (New York City), Christian Ethics in Conversation brings together essays by members of a stellar faculty--including Gary Dorrien, Larry Rasmussen, Phyllis Trible, and Cornel West--and interdisciplinary colleagues, such as Columbia University biologist Robert Pollack, Chancellor Emeritus of the Jewish Theological Seminary Ismar Schorsch, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Yale historian David W. Blight. The challenges they describe of embracing diversity while facing financial pressure and encouraging social change speak to seminaries, churches, denominations, and faithful individuals facing similar challenges today. The chapters model the kinds of interdisciplinary, interfaith, and inter-institutional conversations foundational to Shriver's approach to Christian public ethics. Shriver and Union Seminary addressed racial justice directly, and colleagues describe lessons learned from an activist-academic who was also a Southerner committed to reconciling and repairing the wounds of history. International conversation partners analyze the place of moral claims in successful social transformation, but those claims also had to be lived out in the seminary's institutional life. Gender justice, full inclusion, and liberation theologies became crucial to Union's identity, but not automatically. The changes required are described by a former dean, board member, worship leader, and several students. All the while, faculty and students of Union and its neighbors were engaged in ongoing debates about honest patriotism, friendship across division, and the dangers of uncritical nationalism, also captured by the book's contributors. With contributions from: M. Craig Barnes Serene Jones Dean K. Thompson Donald W. Shriver, Jr. Gary Dorrien Milton McCormick Gatch, Jr. Larry Rasmussen Cornel West: Janet R. Walton James A. Forbes, Jr. Phyllis Trible Robert Pollack Ismar Schorsch Hays Rockwell Thomas S. Johnson Lionel Shriver David Kwang-sun SUH Roger Sharpe Bill Crawford Robert W. Snyder Eric Mount Joseph V. Montville Helmut Reihlen and Erika Reihlen David Blight Ronald H. Stone Steve Phelps