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Last modified: Friday, October 26, 2012

Poynter Center director Miller to give Sonneborn Lecture on Monday

Oct. 26, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Richard B. Miller, a professor of religious studies in the Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, will present the annual Sonneborn Lecture on Monday.

Miller will speak at 4 p.m. in the Frangipani Room of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. The topic is "On Ethnocentrism, Judgment and Moral Authority."

Richard Miller

Richard B. Miller

Print-Quality Photo

He will give the lecture as a result of having been selected earlier this year to receive the 2012 Sonneborn Award, which honors an IU Bloomington faculty member who has achieved distinction as a teacher and a scholar.

The award and lecture are named for the late Tracy M. Sonneborn, an IU biologist who became internationally known for his studies of genetics and was highly regarded as a teacher. The award was first presented in 1986.

Miller also was named a Provost Professor this year along with two other IU Bloomington faculty members: Jerome Busemeyer, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Cognitive Science Program; and Daniel Perantoni, a professor in the brass department in the Jacobs School of Music. The designation of Provost Professor recognizes faculty who have achieved local, national and international distinction in both teaching and research.

Miller works in religious thought and ethics. His research examines the normative implications of Western religious belief and practice, ranging across controversies in religion, politics, war and peace, bioethics, and moral theory. He was the principal investigator in 2010-12 for the multidisciplinary research project "Virtuous Empathy: Scientific and Humanistic Perspectives." He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, along with four books: "Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought," "Children, Ethics, and Modern Medicine," "Casuistry and Modern Ethics: A Poetics of Practical Reasoning" and "Interpretations of Conflict: Ethics, Pacifism, and the Just-War Tradition."

He is an adjunct instructor in the American Studies Program and an affiliate faculty member with the IU Center on Bioethics. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has taught at IU since 1985.