Many people assume that religion is unchanging across time and place, but in order to survive, religion must adapt to new social and cultural realities. Membership and participation in religious groups fluctuates over time, with some groups gaining or losing adherents in the process. Religious affiliation may be related to many different things, including basic population shifts through immigration and aging.
Religion also changes through the varying needs and desires of different generations—what one generation thinks is sacrosanct, the next generation may consider no longer essential to their faith. Further, religious organizations must keep up with how the spiritual and religious needs of individuals change across their life course. Religions must adapt to the needs and demands of both young and old adherents, even as they maintain the core tenets of the tradition.
Photo Credit: Stefan Georgi
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- CommentaryFive Trends to Watch in Religion in 2017: Culture Wars, Compounds & the Next Reformation2016 was a year that no one could predict. Last year, we laid out several religion trends worth noting. To see how our forecasts matched with reality, give them a review. The unpredictable nature …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, LGBT Issues, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious "Nones"
- CommentaryA New Post-Election Religious AlignmentThis post originally appeared at On Faith. After a long election season in which it seemed that religion, for once, wasn’t the big story, we found out that eight out of 10 …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious "Nones", Social Services, Voting and Elections
- CRCC in the NewsDeseret News: Why Teens Leave the FaithWithin the growing portion of religious “nones,” many who leave their childhood religion behind do so as a teenager. The Deseret News quoted CRCC’s Richard Flory about this phenomenon, as well as …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Family and Relationships, Religious "Nones", Religious Affiliation
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- CommentaryHow to solve the difficult problem of adding ‘Muslim’ to ‘American’This post originally appeared on the Los Angeles Times. In mid-September, my 6-year-old daughter ran into our living room and literally started jumping for joy. “Baba, it’s a miracle!” she told her father with …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Family and Relationships, Media, Muslims and Islam, National and Cultural Identity, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture
- CommentaryVP Debate: Tim Kaine and American Religion in FluxTim Kaine’s faith story is an essential part of his stump speech. At the vice presidential debate, the Democratic candidate mentioned his missionary year in his response to the first question, then …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Creativity and Innovation, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious "Nones", Religious Affiliation, Voting and Elections
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“In major urban centers across the United States, there is a generalized perception that individuals in their 20s and early 30s constitute a ‘black hole’ in congregational life. Members of the young-adult population are simply missing from most churches, synagogues and mosques.”
—Tobin Belzer, Richard Flory, Nadia Roumani and Brie Loskota, in Congregations that Get It: Understanding Religious Identities in the Next Generation
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- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- John B. OrrCo-founder & University FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.
- Bruce PhillipsUniversity FellowBruce Phillips is among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry and is an avid historian of Los Angeles.
- Nadia RoumaniContributing FellowNadia Roumani has worked with a wide range of organizations over the past decade to better understand the needs of Muslim communities across the United States.
- Jonathan RussellContributing FellowJonnie Russell is a scholar engaging religion, philosophy and politics, and a chaplain working for social justice on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.
- Rebecca SagerContributing FellowRebecca Sager’s work focuses on political and religious movements and parities in American political life.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street is a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.
- Megan SweasEditor and Director of CommunicationsMegan Sweas is a journalist specializing in social and economic justice issues and world religions.