Friends and Other Strangers

Studies in Religion, Ethics, and Culture

Richard B. Miller

Columbia University Press

Friends and Other Strangers

Google Preview

Pub Date: July 2016

ISBN: 9780231174886

416 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00£49.95

Pub Date: July 2016

ISBN: 9780231541558

416 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $59.99£49.95

Friends and Other Strangers

Studies in Religion, Ethics, and Culture

Richard B. Miller

Columbia University Press

Friends and Other Strangers argues for expanding the field of religious ethics to address the normative dimensions of culture, interpersonal desires, friendships and family, and institutional and political relationships. Richard B. Miller urges religious ethicists to turn to cultural studies to broaden the range of the issues they address and to examine matters of cultural practice and cultural difference in critical and self-reflexive ways.

Friends and Other Strangers critically discusses the ethics of ethnography; ethnocentrism, relativism, and moral criticism; empathy and the ethics of self-other attunement; indignation, empathy, and solidarity; the meaning of moral responsibility in relation to children and friends; civic virtue, war, and alterity; the normative and psychological dimensions of memory; and religion and democratic public life. Miller challenges distinctions between psyche and culture, self and other, and uses the concepts of intimacy and alterity as dialectical touchstones for examining the normative dimensions of self-other relationships. A wholly contemporary, global, and interdisciplinary work, Friends and Other Strangers illuminates aspects of moral life ethicists have otherwise overlooked.
The work of one of the leading religious ethicists of his generation, Friends and Other Strangers could revolutionize the field of religious ethics. Richard B. Miller calls for a revitalized field of inquiry that will adopt new methodological strategies while masterfully crossing disciplinary boundaries and demonstrating what first-rate work in ethics should look like. Paul Lauritzen, author of The Ethics of Interrogation: Professional Responsibility in an Age of Terror
Friends and Other Strangers is a beautifully written and important book by a prominent scholar in the field of religious ethics. There is little existing work that does this sort of careful theoretical and acutely interdisciplinary thinking in a way that is both illuminating to specialists and accessible to undergraduates. Elizabeth Bucar, author of Creative Conformity: The Feminist Politics of U.S. Catholic and Iranian Shi'i Women
Friends and Other Strangers makes a powerful and important case for a turn to culture and ordinary life in religious ethics. Exploring the implications of this turn, Richard B. Miller demonstrates that sophisticated grappling with concrete issues such as the treatment of children, friendship, the politics of memory, or just war cannot do without engaging underlying issues in moral anthropology. Based on impressively wide reading in ethnography, philosophy, and religious ethics, Miller's new book provides a timely and accessible contribution to a vibrant field. Thomas A. Lewis, author of Why Philosophy Matters for the Study of Religion—and Vice Versa
Recommended. CHOICE
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Friends and Other Strangers
Part I: Religion, Ethics, and the Human Sciences
1. What Is Religious Ethics?
2. On Making a Cultural Turn in Religious Ethics
3. Moral Authority and Moral Criticism in an Age of Ethnocentric Anxiety
Part II: Selves and Others
4. The Ethics of Empathy
5. Indignation, Empathy, and Solidarity
6. On Duties and Debts to Children
7. Evil, Friendship, and Iconic Realism in Augustine's Confessions
Part III: Communities and Institutions
8. Just War, Civic Virtue, and Democratic Social Criticism: Augustinian Reflections
9. The Moral and Political Burdens of Memory
10. Religion, Public Reason, and the Morality of Democratic Authority
Epilogue: Signposts of the Past and for the Future
Notes
Index

About the Author

Richard B. Miller is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School and the author of Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought (Columbia, 2010).