Richard B. Miller

Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Religious Ethics

Friends and Other Strangers will be under discussion at the Journal of Religious Ethics Symposium on Religious Ethics at the upcoming meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics/Society of Jewish Ethics/Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics on January 4, 2018 from 6:00-7:00pm in the Sellwood room of the conference hotel.  Professor Margaret Mohrmann of the University of Virginia will interview Professor Miller and Professor John Bowlin of Princeton Theological Seminary (author of Tolerance Among the Virtues) about the role their recent books can play in challenging current assumptions about the state of the field of religious ethics and in enhancing the range of methods that scholars working in that field can use.  A reception will follow. 

PhD, University of Chicago, 1985

Professor Miller’s research interests include religion and public life, political and social ethics, theory and method in religious thought and ethics, and practical ethics. He is the author of Interpretations of Conflict: Ethics, Pacifism, and the Just-War Tradition (University of Chicago Press, 1991);  Casuistry and Modern Ethics: A Poetics of Practical Reasoning (University of Chicago Press, 1996); Children, Ethics, and Modern Medicine (Indiana University Press, 2003), and Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought  (Columbia University Press, 2010). His recent book, Friends and Other Strangers: Studies in Religion, Ethics, and Culture, seeks to chart and expand the field of religious ethics by exploring the implications of taking a cultural turn in the humanities and social sciences (Columbia University Press, 2016).  His essays have appeared in the Journal of Religion, the Journal of Religious EthicsSoundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal, the Journal of the American Academy of ReligionEthics and International AffairsHarvard Theological Review, and Theological Studies

With his faculty colleagues in Religious Ethics, Miller has launched a new initiative at the Divinity School—a two-year cycle of readings, “Minor Classics in Ethics,” focusing on recent essays that have revitalized forgotten themes or have posed new questions for moral philosophers and religious ethicists to take up. Miller’s courses are organized so that students can situate arguments, theories, or concepts within a larger historical and intellectual arc.  He is currently at work on two research projects: a critical monograph on the ethics of religious studies, and an intellectual history of “nature” in early modern and modern critical discourses about religion.   


(773) 702-7252
Swift 202
Areas of study: 

Current and Upcoming Courses
  • Contemporary Political and Social Ethics (RETH 44802)
  • The Ethics of War: Foundational Texts (RETH 36002)
  • Minor Classics in Ethics (RETH 30100)
  • Religion and Democracy (RETH 43900)
  • Religion, Medicine, and Ethics (RETH 45102)

May 2017: "Friends and Other Strangers" at the Religion and Culture Forum, a digital publication of the Martin Marty Center.