Sections and drafts of this article received helpful commentary from Dennis Thompson, Arthur Applbaum, Peter de Marneffe, Lisa Lehmann, Sebastiano Maffettone, Herlinde Pauer-Studer, Richard Pildes, Ken Ryan, Charles Hallisey, Mark Jordan, Gerald McKenny, Todd Whitmore, Diane Yeager, Lee Yearley, Maria Antonaccio, Mark Graham, Nancy Hiller, and the JRE editors. Kathryn Bryan provided valuable research assistance during the penultimate stages of my writing. I received funding to complete a final draft from a Summer Faculty Fellowship from the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University. I am grateful to these sources of input and support.
ON MAKING A CULTURAL TURN IN RELIGIOUS ETHICS
Version of Record online: 17 AUG 2005
Journal of Religious Ethics
Volume 33, Issue 3, pages 409–443, September 2005
How to Cite
Miller, R. B. (2005), ON MAKING A CULTURAL TURN IN RELIGIOUS ETHICS. Journal of Religious Ethics, 33: 409–443. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2005.00229.x
- Issue online: 17 AUG 2005
- Version of Record online: 17 AUG 2005
- comparative religious ethics;
- social criticism;
- religious ethics;
This essay critically explores resources and reasons for the study of culture in religious ethics, paying special attention to rhetorics and genres that provide an ethics of ordinary life. I begin by exploring a work in cultural anthropology that poses important questions for comparative and cultural inquiry in an age alert to “otherness,” asymmetries of power, the end of value-neutrality in the humanities, and the formation of identity. I deepen my argument by making a foundational case for the importance of culture as a topic of normative analysis through a discussion of the emotions as cultural artifacts. To illustrate how cultural analysis can inform religious ethics, I turn to works by Wayne Meeks, Margaret Trawick, and Charles Taylor. I conclude by sketching some implications of a “cultural turn” for future work in religious ethics.