The Character Gap: How Good Are We?
Why does it matter if we have a good character?
What does “character” even mean in the first place?
And what does our character look today?
Are we doing a pretty good job at being good people? Or bad people? Or something in-between?
Most important of all, what can we do to try to become better, to become really virtuous?
The Character Gap tackles these and other important questions in an accessible style aimed at a general audience. It is available for purchase here.
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught us that nothing that we despise in the other is entirely absent from ourselves. Christian Miller teaches us that the road to virtue lies in humility about our own virtue and an acceptance that others are struggling with their flaws. This is a very valuable book at a moment when our society could use a dose of openness and a sense of forgiveness.”
— E. J. Dionne Jr., Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture, Georgetown University
“The topic of character is both timeless and timely. In this especially lucid and personal narrative, Christian Miller guides the interested reader through the modern science of character, with special emphasis on its moral aspects, and with helpful and practical recommendations for its development.”
— Angela Duckworth, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, and author of Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance
“Christian Miller cautions that this is not a self-help book. Don’t believe him. Of course, it is not a set of tips and tricks to magically become a better person. But if honest, realistic self-knowledge and clear-eyed empathy are crucial for the moral life, then this book will help. Anyone serious about traveling the road to character should bring this book on the journey.”
— James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy, Calvin College, and author of You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
“This is a book full of insight, informed by research and written by someone with a profound understanding of character. It is a must read for anyone looking for a fresh presentation of its importance in human life.”
— James Arthur, Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham
“In The Character Gap, Mr. Miller provides a clear and valuable summary of the research on character and argues persuasively that character is built, not given.”
— The Wall Street Journal
Reviews of The Character Gap
- Wall Street Journal
- The Gospel Coalition
- Englewood Review of Books
- Christianity Today
- Frost Magazine
- The Christian Post
- Influence Magazine
- Ethics and Culture Blog
- Everyday Exiles Blog
- Library Journal
- Psychology Today
- Filozoful! (in Polish)
- Studies in Christian Ethics
- Books at a Glance
- Coburg Review of Books
- The Philosopher
- Faith and Philosophy
- Mind and Spirit
- Paradigm Explorer
- Church Times
- Public Discourse
- Forma Journal
- British Journal of Educational Studies
- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
- Journal of Character Education
- Suranaree Journal of Social Science
- The Fortnightly Review
- Journal of Spiritual Formulation and Soul Care
- Journal of Markets and Morality
My Popular Writing Based on The Character Gap
- “What Does ‘Character’ Even Mean?” Character.org.
- “Should You Tell Everyone They’re Honest?” Nautilus Magazine.
- “The Cinnabon Made Me Do It: Surprising Influences on Moral Behavior.” Merion West
- “The Foundations of Morality.” Fathom Magazine.
- “Empathy.” Fathom Magazine. Published as well in The Partially Examined Life Blog.
- “Are You As Good As You Think?” The Institute of Art and Ideas.
- “Why the Church Needs to Refocus on the Concept of Character.” Relevant Magazine.
- “How Can We Become Better Humans?” Greater Good Magazine.
- “True Generosity Involves More Than Just Giving.” Aeon.
Reprinted in Quartz as “Are You Generous? The Three Requirements of True Generosity.”
Reprinted in The Week as “The True Meaning of Generosity.”
- “Science-Tested Tips to Be a Better Person.” The Wall Street Journal.
- “How to Stay Honest This Tax Season.” The Conversation.
Reprinted in Newsweek as “How Not to Cheat on your Taxes – A Handy Guide.” Reprinted in the Los Angeles Times as “How to Stay Honest This Tax Season.” Reprinted in the Chicago Tribune, Salon, The News & Observer, Penn Live, Fort Bend Herald, ORBITER Magazine, Fox 12 Oregon, CBS 46 Atlanta, Fox Carolina, and Yahoo News.
- “The Heights and Depths of our Characters.” Virtue Insight Blog.
- “How Little We Know About Character.” The Philosopher’s Magazine 80 (2018): 58-64.
- “4 Ways to Become a Better Person in 2018.” The Dallas Morning News.
- “Some of the Mysteries of Good Character.” Oxford University Press Blog.
- “What Does ‘Character’ Even Mean? Defining What We All Say We Care About.” Michael Hyatt Magazine.
- “From Monogamy to Politics, the Concept of Honesty is More Complex than You Think.” Prospect Magazine.
- “Interview with Dr. Christian B. Miller.” Character Matters Podcast, November 2019.
- “People are Mixed Bags with Christian Miller.” The Moral Science Podcast, November 2019.
- “Building Character that Bends Towards Mystery with Christian Miller.” Contemplify Podcast, November 2019.
- “A Conversation with Christian Miller: Is Character in Decline in America?” The Bends Towards Justice Podcast, September 2019.
- “How Good Are We Really? With Christian Miller.” The Psychology Podcast, August 2019.
- “The Character Gap with Dr. Christian Miller.” The Classical Ideas Podcast, August 2019.
- “What Does It Mean to be ‘Good’?” ABC’s The Minefield, August 2019.
- “What Do We Really Mean by ‘Moral Character’?” The Psych Central Show, March 2019.
- “Christian Miller on the Character Gap.” Philosophy Bites, February 2019.
- “The Character Gap, Our Moral Flaws, and How to Improve Them.” The Dissenter Podcast, February 2019.
- “Character: A Conversation with Christian Miller.” The Political Philosophy Podcast, December 2018.
- “Christian Miller: The Character Gap.” Thinking Aloud, BYU Radio, December 2018.
- “How Good (or Bad) We Really Are with Christian Miller.” Character Speaks Podcast with Barbara Gruener, October 2018.
- “Character Matters: An Interview with Dr. Christian Miller.” Virtue in the Wasteland Podcast, October 2018.
- “How to Close the Character Gap.” The Art of Manliness Podcast, October 2018.
- “The Character Gap.” Philosophy Bakes Bread on WRFL 88.1 FM Lexington, KY and KBLU 92.3 FM Logan, Utah, September 2018.
- “Christian B. Miller – The Character Gap.” The Political Theory Review Podcast, August 2018.
- “Christian B. Miller and The Character Gap, Part 1.” The Panpsycast, June 2018.
- “Christian B. Miller and The Character Gap, Part 2.” The Panpsycast, June 2018.
- “Closing the Sanctification Gap.” Influence Magazine Podcast, May 2018.
- “Generosity.” Interview on WORD-FM Radio Pittsburgh.
- “The Character Gap with Christian B. Miller.” Shrink Rap Radio Podcast.
- “Christian Miller” NPR’s Public Morality.
- “The Character Gap.” New Books in Philosophy.
- Featured on Michael Hyatt’s Podcast “Leadership and the Law of Replication.”
- “Are You as Good as You Think You Are?” The Veritas Forum Podcast.
- “The Character Gap.” Interview on WORD-FM Radio Pittsburgh.
- “Are You as Virtuous as You Think?” Slate’s The Gist. Reposted at WBEZ 91.5 Chicago.
- “The Character Gap: How Good Are We?” HER RadioMD.
- Interview on the 93.1 FM Deep Cover program in Cork, Ireland.
- “The Character Gap.” The Best of our Knowledge. WAMC.
- “The Character Gap.” The Academic Minute. WAMC Radio.
- “Conversation with Dr. Christian Miller.” Chivalry Today.
- “How to Become Virtuous.” KOA NewsRadio Colorado.
- “The Character Gap.” New Books in Psychology Podcast.
- “We’re Not As ‘Good’ As We Think We Are.” NPR Texas, Think.
- “The Character Gap’: How Good Are We Really?” NPR North Carolina, The State of Things.
- “Q&A with Philosophy Professor Christian Miller, Author of the Compelling New Book, ‘The Character Gap.’” Wake Forest Magazine, Fall 2019.
- Farman Street Learning Community Featured Author for December, Author-Meets-Audience Session, December 2018.
- Engaged Philosophy Interview, August 2018.
- “Wake Forest Philosophy Professor Christian Miller Describes ‘Character Gap.’” Carolina Journal Radio, August 2018.
- “The Best Books on Moral Character.” Five Books. March 2018.
- What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? March 2018.
- “How Good Are We?” 3:AM Magazine. May 2018.
- “The Constant Companion.” The Reading Lists. June 2018.
- “Increasing Our Self-Awareness: A Q&A with Christian Miller.” Fathom Magazine. June 2018.
- “What is Virtue? A Talk with Professor Christian B. Miller.” Merion West. August 2018.
Articles about The Character Gap
- “Mining the Uncertain Character Gap.” Winston-Salem Journal.
- “The Character Gap.” Law and Religion Forum.
- “Virtues & Vices: WFU Professor’s New Book Tackles Tough Questions About Character.” Winston-Salem Monthly.
- “What Kind of a Character Do You Think You Are?” Orbiter Magazine.
- “Are We as Good as We Think? WFU professor says ‘No” in New Book.” Wake Forest University News Story.
- “Christian Miller ’99 on the Gap Between Who We Are and Who We Think We Are.” Princeton Alumni Weekly.
- “Creative Works.” Notre Dame Magazine.
- “Books We Loved in 2017!” International Positive Education Network.