Depending on your point of view, religion is the source of values like compassion and social justice that are essential to the harmonious co-existence of diverse groups in any given society. Or it provides the rationalization for intolerance and injustice toward the “other,” which is the root of conflict and suffering. Reality, of course, is much more complicated than either perspective.
In any case, religious beliefs—and beliefs about religion—inevitably shape social values and political power, in both the secular societies of the global North and the deeply religious cultures of the global South. Explore the relationship between religion and a variety of social and political issues, from economic inequality to immigration.
Photo Credit: Franco Folini
- VideoCatholic Sisters Create a Model of Economic Empowerment in Zambia
- CRCC in the NewsThinkProgress: Multiracial Churches Gaining ProminenceIn the era of Trump’s presidency, multi-racial churches are growing in prominence. Their organizing is a response to and departure from the racism embedded in predominantly white evangelical Christianity, ThinkProgress reported an article that features …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Multi-ethnic / Multi-racial Congregations, National and Cultural Identity, Race and Culture, Race and Ethnicity
- VideoBeautiful Gate: Envisioning Christian Faith in Los Angeles
- CRCC in the NewsMedia Coverage of L.A. Civil Unrest AnniversaryHaving grown out of the 1992 Los Angeles civil Unrest, the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture and Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement commemorated the 25th anniversary with multiple opportunities …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, Disaster Response, Faith-Based Organizations, Government and Religion, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Violence
- CommentaryA Declaration of InterdependenceA nation of nations, our actions in these troubled times must be guided by a notion of notions—let us call it “A Declaration of Interdependence.” We were founded to be a beacon …Topics: CMCCE, Protests and Uprisings, Religious Leadership, Southern California, Violence
- VideoMay 3, 1992: Rev. Cecil Murray Preaches as the Fires of the L.A. Riots Burn
- MapLaundry Love California: A Story MapTopics: Creativity and Innovation, Economic Inequality, maps, Social Services
- VideoThe Other Muslim Fringe: Muslim Activism in Europe
- CommentaryA Religious Test No One Can PassWe are seeing a rise of government policy predicated on religious illiteracy and religious bigotry. Executive orders are being formed to target Muslims, and border procedures assessing acceptable and unacceptable religious belief …Topics: Government and Religion, Immigration, Muslims and Islam
- CRCC in the NewsPCPJ: Why Pentecostals Are ProgressiveAn overwhelming majority of indigenous churches with active social programs in the developing world are Pentecostal or Charismatic, sociologists Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori found in their book Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Economic Inequality, Pentecostals and Pentecostalism, Political Attitudes and Values
- CommentaryIn Trump Era, Young Muslims Question Respectability Politics of MosquesThis article originally appeared on Religion Dispatches. Possibly this week, President Trump might sign yet another executive order, this time restricting entry to the United States from majority Muslim countries [read a draft …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Government and Religion, Immigration, LGBT Issues, Muslims and Islam, National and Cultural Identity, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Religious Affiliation
- CommentaryWords of the Week – Empowering Poor PeopleThe post originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel. The church has a dark hidden secret. It has been a secret for decades. The secret is churches have a number of the …Topics: Black Church, Christians and Christianity, CMCCE, Economic Inequality,
“It is, finally, not the external forms of religion that matter so much; they are cultural products, vessels (potential conduits) of the holy, not to be confused with the divine (which would be idolatry). What is important is the quality of life that results from one’s concourse with the God beyond gods.”
—Donald E. Miller
“The Future of Liberal Christianity”
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-743-1611
- Sumaya AbubakerProject ManagerSumaya Abubaker manages leadership and civic engagement programming for minority faith communities.
- Steven Barrie-AnthonyContributing FellowSteven Barrie-Anthony is a scholar and writer who examines spiritual and religious innovation and change and its impacts on public life, such as on styles of civic and political action.
- 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.
- Rev. Frank Jackson, Jr.Contributing FellowRev. Frank Jackson, Jr. couples his experience in business and investment with his passion for community development.
- Andrew JohnsonResearch AssociateAndrew 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 religionin 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.
- Tarra McNallyAssistant Director of EvaluationTarra McNally is an anthropologist specializing in evaluation and global health.
- 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.
- Jon MillerSenior Research AssociateJon Miller is a comparative sociologist and director of the international mission photography archive.
- Arpi MillerContributing FellowArpi Miller is a sociologist who studies secular and faith-based immigrant advocacy and accompaniment.
- Cecil L. MurrayUniversity FellowRev. Cecil Murray works to ensure that the legacy of African American Church leaders pass on their years of experience to the next generation.