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Noted Theologian Donald Shriver Will Speak at Davidson


February 15, 2001
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

Donald W. Shriver
Donald W. Shriver

Theologian Donald W. Shriver, a 1951 Davidson graduate, will present the college's inaugural Samuel D. Maloney Lectures in Religion on Sunday, February 25, and Monday, February 26. The free public lectures will take place both evenings at 7:30 p.m. in the 900 Room of the College Union. For more information, call 894-2259.

Shriver, former president of Union Theological Seminary in New York, retired in 1996 as that institution's W.D. Dodge Professor of Applied Religion. His academic work has focused on the field of Christian social ethics. The Maloney Lecture series honors his undergraduate contemporary, James Sprunt Professor Emeritus of Religion Samuel D. Maloney, who graduated from Davidson in 1948 and taught at the college from 1954 until retirement in 1994.

The Maloney Endowment for the Study of Religion and Society has been made possible at Davidson by a gift of the Thomas Jefferson family of Richmond, Va., and honors Maloney's concern for the social, cultural, and ethical dimensions of religious life.

Shriver's lecture on Sunday night, entitled "A Past Worth Celebrating," will reflect on the first fifty years of his life since graduating from Davidson, focusing on those junctures where his personal experience and world history have had an intimate, unavoidable relationship. His talk on Monday night, "A Future Worth Hoping For," will consider the hopes that recent history yields for the future, and stress the challenges of world poverty, environmental degredation, and geometrically increasing capacities for violence.

A Norfolk, Va., native, Shriver enrolled at Davidson after service in the U.S. Army Signal Corps at the end of World War II. He pursued graduate education at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Yale University Divinity School, and Harvard University, where he completed a Ph.D. in religion and society.

Shriver is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and was a pastor of a congregation in Gastonia, N.C., from 1956-1959. His first book, Spindles and Spires: Religion and Social Change in Gastonia, deals with the relationship between economic and religious life in that textile community

When he left Gastonia he served as Presbyterian university minister and social studies professor and research director at North Carolina State University. From 1972 to 1975, he was professor of ethics and society at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. In 1975, he was elected thirteenth president of Union Theological Seminary in New York, and held the position until 1991 when he returned to full-time teaching as Union's W.D. Dodge Professor of Applied Religion.

Shriver holds honorary doctoral degrees from six colleges and universities, and is a past president of the Society of Christian Ethics. He served on the Presbyterian Church's Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy from 1992-1999. His has written books entitled Forgiveness in Politics: the Case for the American Black Civil Rights Movement, Beyond Success: Corporations and Their Critics in the Nineties, and An Ethic for Enemies: Forgiveness in Politics.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by "U.S. News and World Report" magazine. Davidson recently launched "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.

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