The Call: The Spiritual Realism of Sargent Shriver

The Call explores the role of the spirit in the life and work of one of the most accomplished American peacebuilders of the 20th century, Sargent Shriver (1915–2011). Author Jamie Price demonstrates that Sargent Shriver’s approach to serving people, designing public policy, and transforming conflict situations makes it possible to imagine a constructive way forward – a path that makes it possible to imagine integrating the spiritual values of compassion and service into the secular structures of public affairs without the divisive, polarizing effects of leading with particular religious doctrines or traditions. Price defines The Call as a “true conversation that never happened”, a dialogue between Price’s reconstructed figure of Sargent Shriver and an inquisitive imagined friend, Didymus. The book unfolds as an interview in which Didymus explores the role of the spirit in Shriver’s efforts to build peace. The book’s title, The Call, alludes to the pivotal moment in which Shriver received the phone call from his brother-in-law, the newly-inaugurated President John F. Kennedy, asking him to be Director of the as-yet-nonexistent Peace Corps. Informed by Shriver’s hundreds of speeches, philosophers, and theologians who inspired Shriver, and real-life conversations between Shriver and the author, the book is an intimate, unique, often funny exchange about the inner workings of a mind always questioning the relationship between spirit and social action. A must-read for aspiring leaders, innovators, and peacebuilders seeking to redress contemporary challenges to human dignity and security, The Call invites readers to navigate conflict and nurture human connection with creativity and compassion.

About the Author

Jamie is the Founding Director of the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute (SSPI). He is the author of several works about Sargent Shriver, including "The Call: The Spiritual Realism of Sargent Shriver" and "Spiritualizing Politics without Politicizing Religion: The Example of Sargent Shriver".

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Spiritualizing Politics without Politicizing Religion: The Example of Sargent Shriver

The clash of religion and politics has been a persistent source of polarization in North America. In order to think wisely and constructively about the spiritual dimension of our political life, there is need for an approach that can both maintain the diversity of belief and foster values founded on the principles of religion.

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This exhaustively researched, authorized biography depicts Shriver’s connection to the historical events of the 20th century—the Great Depression, World War II, JFK’s assassination, the Cold War, and more. Sarge gives us a complete account of Shriver’s life, as well as thoughtful commentary on the Kennedy family, the Peace Corps, and US and world history.

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