Literature and Spirituality: Lisa Miller

Event time: 
Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 1:15pm
Event description: 

Part of the 2010-2011 Yale and Spirituality Series

Readings followed by a book-signing and a reception

Presented in collaboration with Yale Divinity Student Book Supply


Marquand Chapel

409 Prospect Street, New Haven


A native of New Haven, Lisa Miller was named Society editor in July 2000 at Newsweek, and added Religion editor to her duties in October 2006.  She reports, writes and edits stories on spirituality and belief and writes the weekly BeliefWatch column in the Periscope section of the magazine. Miller wrote “The Politics of Jesus” cover story (10/13/2006), which examined the impact of religion in the midterm elections.

She also helped launch the “OnFaith,” an online global conversation about religion and faith moderated by Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham and Washington Post writer Sally Quinn and co-branded with the Washington Post.

As Society editor, Miller oversees reporting on religion, education, family and health. Miller  oversaw “The Giving Back Awards,” double issue in July 2006, where Newsweek recognized people who were making a difference in the world.  In July 2005, she oversaw the “Spirituality in America” double issue, which looked at the rise of spirituality nationwide and why many Americans are choosing to seek spiritual experiences outside of traditional religions. Miller is currently writing a book about heaven, starting with the history of the idea of it and contemporary beliefs about it.

During her tenure, Miller has led coverage of numerous health and issues-related cover stories including: “Sex, Shame and the Catholic Church,” (March 4, 2002), “The Bible and the Qur’an,” (Feb. 11, 2002), “Fighting Addiction,” (Feb. 12, 2001),  and “God and the Brain,” (May 7, 2001).

Award-winning stories and cover packages that Miller edited include: The National Headliner Award for feature writing for David France for a series of articles.  They included: “The Angry Profit is Dying,” (June 11, 2001) about AIDS activist Larry Kramer on the 20th anniversary of the killer virus; “Scouts Divided,” (August, 6, 2001) on internal strife within the Boy Scouts of America over allowing homosexuals to join; and “Blood and Money,” with David Noonan (December 17, 2001) an investigation into whether the donations made after September 11 really went where they were intended.

Miller came to Newsweek from The Wall Street Journal, where she was an award-winning senior special writer covering religion for the paper’s front page since 1997. She was also an editor for the Marketplace page (1993-94), where she helped launch the weekly “Health Journal,” and a travel reporter (1994-97).

She started her journalism career as an editorial assistant (1984) at the Harvard Business Review and later became manuscript editor there (1985-87) before moving to The New Yorker (1987-92) and then Self magazine (1992-93), where she was senior editor for arts coverage and created their “In Focus” section in the front of the book.

Miller received a New York Newswomen’s Club award in 1998 for feature writing. She graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in English in 1984.