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William E. Dodge Professor of Applied Christianity, former President, Union Theological Seminary, New York

Berlin Prize Fellow - Class of Spring 1999

Donald W. Shriver was a Berlin Prize Fellow in the spring of 1999, when he began work on his book Honest Patriots: Loving A Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds, published 2005 by Oxford University Press, translated into German in 2007, and recipient of the 2009 Grawemeyer Foundation prize of $200,000 for a book on an important idea in the field of religion. The book treats Germany and South Africa as models for the task of “mastering” a negative past, models from which the United States can learn. The second half of the work dwells on efforts in the United States to portray our own negative history of treatment of African Americans and Native Americans.


Since retiring from the presidency of Union Theological Seminary, New York, in 1996, Shriver has continued to write and travel. The most recent of his 15 books are a study of the theological works of H. Richard Niebuhr and a collection of personal essays, On Second Thought. Travels in the past few years have included Berlin, Cape Town, Dublin, Rome, and Seoul. In 2010 the Ara Pacis Initiative in Rome adapted ideas from his 1995 book on forgiveness in politics for forming an International Council on Forgiveness, Justice, Dignity, and Reconciliatiion. Shriver continues to be active as a minister member of the Presbytry of New York City, especially in its concern for the justice system and prison system of the State of New York.

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