Loving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds
By (author) Donald W. Shriver
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Honest Patriots by Donald W. Shriver
Book DescriptionDonald Shriver argues that recognition of morally negative events in American history is essential to the health of our society. The failure to acknowledge and repent of these events skews the relations of many Americans to one another and breeds ongoing hostility. To obscure the suffering of anyone's ancestors, says Shriver, is to be blind to the continuing impact of that suffering upon the descendants. Yet our civic identity largely rests on denials, forgetfulness, and inattention to the memories of neighbors whose ancestors suffered great injustices at the hands of some dominant majority. Shriver contends that repentance for these injustices must find a place in our political culture. It must be carefully cultivated through the accurate teaching of history, public symbols that embody both positive and negative memory, and public leadership to this end. Religious people and religious organizations have an important role to play in this process. In the past, the Christian tradition has so concentrated on the personal dimensions of forgiveness and repentance that their collective aspects have been severely neglected. More recently, however, the idea of collective moral responsibility has come into public prominence. Official apologies for past collective injustice have multiplied, as have calls for reparations. Focusing on the wrongs suffered by African Americans and Native Americans, Shriver examines the challenges associated with the call for collective repentance: What can it mean to morally master a past whose victims are dead and whose sufferings cannot be alleviated? What are the measures that lend substance to language and action expressing repentance? What symbolic and tangible acts produce credible turns away from past wrongs? What are the dynamics-psychological, social, and political-whereby we can safely consign an evil to the past? How can public life witness to corporate crimes of the past in such a way that descendents of victims can be confident that they will never be repeated? In answering these questions Shriver creates a compelling vision of the collective repentance and apology that must precede real progress in relations between the races in this country.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195378832
(235mm x 155mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 11-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Donald W. Shriver
On Second Thought, Paperback (March 2010)
The author reflects upon religion and politics,plus personal expressions of religiosity with this new group of essays.
Honest Patriots, Hardback (March 2005)
Argues that recognition of morally negative events in American history is essential to the health of the society. Focusing on the wrongs suffered by African Americans and Native Americans, this work examines the challenges associated with the call for collective repentance.
Ethic for Enemies, Paperback (October 1997)» View all books by Donald W. Shriver
The author of this text examines how former enemies learn to live together in peaceful political association despite their suffering at each other's hands. He seeks to reclaim the concept of forgiveness from personal and religious realms and restate its significance in political life.
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Author Biography - Donald W. Shriver
Donald W. Shriver, Jr. is President of the Faculty and William E. Dodge Professor of Applied Christianity, Emeritus at Union Theological Seminary. He is the author of An Ethic for Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics (OUP, 1995).
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