University of Southern California

CRCC Interdisciplinary Research Group


The Interdisciplinary Research Group consists of scholars from diverse academic disciplines who work to advance the investigation of religions and religion-related topics at USC. Between 2009 and 2014, with funding support from the Dean of the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, IRG

  • funded the research of more than 30 USC faculty members and graduate students from across the academic disciplines with IRG Research Fellowships ;
  • organized interdisciplinary Annual Seminars that brought together experts from around the world to present their research on religions;
  • hosted Annual Lectures by major experts on religion and spirituality;
  • organized international conferences and scholarly working groups ;
  • and sponsored workshops, exhibitions, performances, and other public events aimed at advancing general religious literacy and the academic study of religions.

The results of our collaborations are visible in the monographs, conference volumes, journal and newspaper articles, and blogs published by USC researchers; exhibitions of art and photography in USC and area galleries; and in the numerous external research grants awarded to our scholars.

Since fall of 2014, IRG has focused its support on USC School of Religion and its new doctoral program. Although funding is no longer available to students and faculty outside the SOR, IRG continues to sponsor events of interest to the larger community.

For more information, contact Lisa Bitel

Image of Lisa Marie Bitel

Lisa Marie Bitel

Lisa M. Bitel is professor of history and religion at the University of Southern California. She chairs the CRCC Interdisciplinary Research Group. She studies the history of Christianity, particularly in medieval Europe. She has written four books about religion and/or

Image of Lynn Swartz Dodd

Lynn Swartz Dodd

Lynn Swartz Dodd was awarded a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA in 2002. She currently is a faculty member in Religion at the University of Southern California and directs the Archaeology Research Center. Her archaeological projects

Image of Richard Flory

Richard Flory

Richard Flory (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is research scientist and director of research in the Center for Religion and Civic Culture and at the University of Southern California. He is the author/co-author/editor of several books, including Spirit and Power: The

Image of Janet Hoskins

Janet Hoskins

Janet Hoskins is professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California. Her first book The Play of Time: Kodi Perspectives on Calendars, History and Exchange (winner of the 1996 Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies) was both an ethnographic

Image of Brie Loskota

Brie Loskota

Brie Loskota is the managing director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) at the University of Southern California. CRCC, which was named a Pew Center of Excellence in 2002, is a creative nexus where scholars, practitioners and

Image of Lori Meeks

Lori Meeks

Lori Meeks is associate professor of religion and East Asian languages and cultures. Her current research is centered on the social and cultural history of Buddhism in Japanese history. Much of her work has focused on clarifying the roles of

Image of Duncan Ryûken Williams

Duncan Ryûken Williams

Duncan Ryûken Williams was born in Tokyo, Japan to a Japanese mother and British father. After growing up in Japan and England until age 17, he moved to the U.S. to attend college (Reed College) and graduate school (Harvard University,