One of the fascinating aspects of living in a time of great religious flux is the boom in religious (and irreligious) innovation. Young adults who are leaving established institutions are forming new kinds of associations to nurture a sense of purpose and belonging. Congregations with empty pews are experimenting with novel forms of music and liturgy to try to attract converts as well as to retain the faithful. Service-oriented groups that welcome all comers, regardless of religious affiliation, are flourishing across the country. And a variety of spiritual practices that focus on the experience of individual believers are flourishing in the West as well in as in the global South.
- EventReimagining Religion Conference Program and Livestream – Feb. 9, 2017Scroll below to watch the livestream (times of panels noted on conference schedule) February 9, 2017 University of Southern California Preview: Increasingly, Americans are choosing not to identify with a particular religious …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Meditation and Prayer, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious "Nones", Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Rituals, Southern California
- ArticleMapping the New Landscape of Religion in Los FelizThis article originally appeared in BOOM: A Journal of California. Mt. Hollywood Congregational Church was in trouble. Its congregation had become too small to sustain the decaying Los Feliz building that had …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, LGBT Issues, Place and Religion, Religious Affiliation, Southern California
- CommentaryLaundry LoveSeveral years ago—2002 to be exact—I met an incredibly interesting young pastor named Greg Russinger. At the time, Greg was leading the Bridge Communities, an innovative church in Ventura, California. What was …Topics: Community Dynamics, Creativity and Innovation, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Social Services
- ArticleLatter-day Zen: The Mormon Man Bringing Meditation to HomeThis article originally appeared in Tricycle Magazine. The first thing that I noticed on my visit to Thomas McConkie’s apartment near the University of Utah was a small wooden tan—the raised platform …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation,
- EventReimagining Religion 2018: New Stories, New CommunitiesReimagining Religion 2018: New Stories, New Communities was a conference hosted at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism by the Knight Program for Media and Religion, along with Religion Communicators …Topics: Community Organizing, Creativity and Innovation, Media
- CommentaryThe Liminal Year: 5 Trends to Watch in Religion in 20182018 is a liminal year in America, and with transition comes uncertainty. It is the year of key midterm elections, the results of which are difficult to predict. A major investigation continues …Topics: Community Organizing, Creativity and Innovation, Gender, Religious Beliefs and Rituals, Religious Leadership, Voting and Elections
- CommentaryHow California’s Megachurches Changed Christian CultureThis article was originally published on The Conversation. The popular view of California is of a liberal, godless region, a land of possibilities that is open to experimentation in all things. As …Topics: Branding and Marketing, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Megachurches, Southern California
- CommentaryHow a Group of California Nuns Challenged the Catholic ChurchThis article was originally published on The Conversation. California in the 1960s was the epicenter for spiritual experimentation. Indian gurus and New Age prophets, Jesus freaks and Scientologists all found followings in …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Creativity and Innovation, Nuns and Women Religious
- VideoHollywood Beloved: A Catholic Procession on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
- VideoReimagining Religion Conference: The Future of Religion in Los Angeles
- Commentary500 Years After the Reformation, Religion Is Undergoing Creative DestructionFive hundred years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. He aimed to protest the Catholic Church’s practice of issuing indulgences and other abuses of …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation,
- VideoPico Union Project: An Interfaith Space in Los Angeles
“Most people would probably be surprised to hear ‘faith’ and ‘innovation’ used in the same sentence. But any conversation about leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation has plenty of space for the topic of faith.”
—Rebecca McQuigg Rigal
“A Leap of …Entrepreneurship? Finding a Place for Faith in Social Innovation”
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- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- Samuel ChuContributing FellowSamuel Chu is a seasoned community organizer and strategist who works at the intersection of faith and public policy.
- Hebah FarragAssistant Director of ResearchHebah Farrag manages the center’s research and evaluation projects while engaging in research focused on religion, social change and new spiritualties.
- Richard FlorySenior Director of Research and EvaluationRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Nalika GajaweeraResearch AssociateNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- Andrew JohnsonContributing FellowAndrew Johnson is a sociologist who studies religion on the margins of society, with specific interests in religious practice inside of prison, Latin American Pentecostalism and religion in the city.
- Brie LoskotaExecutive DirectorBrie Loskota researches how religions change and make change in the world, and works to build the capacity of religious communities around the globe.
- Juan MartínezContributing FellowJuan Martinez studies the history of Latino Protestantism, Latino Protestant identity and transnational mission among U.S. Latinos.
- Donald E. MillerDirector of Strategic InitiativesDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.
- Bruce PhillipsUniversity FellowBruce Phillips is among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry and is an avid historian of Los Angeles.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street is a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.