Friends and Other Strangers: Studies in Religion, Ethics, and Culture

Hardcover | July 5, 2016

byRichard B. Miller

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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.

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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 add...

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).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:July 5, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231174888

ISBN - 13:9780231174886

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Friends and Other StrangersPart I: Religion, Ethics, and the Human Sciences1. What Is Religious Ethics?2. On Making a Cultural Turn in Religious Ethics3. Moral Authority and Moral Criticism in an Age of Ethnocentric AnxietyPart II: Selves and Others4. The Ethics of Empathy5. Indignation, Empathy, and Solidarity6. On Duties and Debts to Children7. Evil, Friendship, and Iconic Realism in Augustine's ConfessionsPart III: Communities and Institutions8. Just War, Civic Virtue, and Democratic Social Criticism: Augustinian Reflections9. The Moral and Political Burdens of Memory10. Religion, Public Reason, and the Morality of Democratic AuthorityEpilogue: Signposts of the Past and for the FutureNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

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.