USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

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Archive

Marginal Muslims: Questioning Religion in Indonesia

This post also appeared on Huffington Post Religion. “If Islam is a religion of peace, why are people so violent?” That rhetorical question brought me up short. I wasn’t watching Pamela Geller’s …

The Gay Sex Worker Who Defied Sharia Law in Banda Aceh to Organize

This post originally appeared on Global Post. JAKARTA, Indonesia — Faisal Riza started as a sex worker in one of the riskiest possible places for any kind of transgressive behavior: Aceh, a …

How a Pentecostal Law Professor Has Helped Reshape Nigerian Politics

This post also appeared on The Washington Post Acts of Faith blog. I met Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s vice president-elect, two years ago, during the annual convening of the mammoth Holy Ghost Congress …

Building the Future of Religion, One Burrito at a Time: Service Groups and Religious “Nones”

On a recent Thursday night, a group of about 75 volunteers for the Burrito Project commandeered the kitchen and fellowship hall at the Church of the Epiphany to make 1,000 burritos to …

The “Nones” Are Alright

This article originally appeared on Al Jazeera America. This article argues that far from becoming morally rudderless secular citizens, many religiously unaffiliated people are seeking ways of forming meaning and identity as …

First All-female Mosque Opens in Los Angeles

This post originally appeared on Al Jazeera America. The first women-only mosque in the United States opened its doors in Los Angeles on Friday with an inaugural jummah, or prayer, by Edina …

Hampers of hope in Harbor City

This post originally appeared on Al Jazeera America. HARBOR CITY, Calif. — From the Pacific Coast Highway exit off the freeway in Harbor City, it is impossible to miss the towering exhaust stacks …

How Muslim Civic Activism Helped Pass California’s Prop 47

This post originally appeared on Religion Dispatches. California mostly defied the rightward national trend in this week’s midterm elections. The victory of Proposition 47, for example, makes California the first state in the …

A Family Occupation: Samuel Chu on the Occupy Central Movement in Hong Kong

Samuel Chu has been a community organizer in Southern California for the past decade. On September 26, 2014 he left Los Angeles to join his father–a Southern Baptist minister, community activist and …

Lift Up, Wake Up, Grow Up: Religion and Civil Rights in Ferguson

Prompted by recent social unrest in Ferguson, MO, New York City and Southern California, the Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray, Tansey Chair of Christian Ethics at USC and Chairman of the Cecil Murray …

Pirates in the White Room

Cartoon by Matt Bors. Last week I met Gary Wexler, who teaches in the communications management program at USC’s Annenberg School. The two of us were having lunch with my CRCC colleagues …

The Wild, Wild West of Mindfulness

Diana Winston’s post-college spiritual journey was something of an anachronism. After she graduated from Brown in the late 1980s, Winston traveled to Southeast Asia, where she spent several years working with Theravada …

Meditation and Authenticity: Everything Old Is New Again

A mindfulness teacher loosely associated with Against the Stream described his unconventional approach to meditation–keep a notebook close at hand to record your thoughts and feelings–as a more faithful reflection of the …

From Margin to Center: A Queer (and Timely) Theological Mix in Los Feliz

Founders MCC, the Los Angeles-based mother church of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, is literally putting new flesh on some of the Mainline Protestant establishment’s old bones. Three years ago …

Finding the Future in Los Feliz

During his comments at a recent Getty House event to mark the National Day of Prayer, Mayor Eric Garcetti referred to L.A.’s current cultural moment as “this hinge of history.” Civic boosterism? …

Keeping Faith: A CRCC Senior Fellow Finds the Key to Passing Religion Across Generations

Bengtson says that emotional warmth rather than devoutness or discipline appears to be the key factor in families that successfully transmit religious traditions across generations. Allowing their children—particularly adolescents—to venture away from orthodox expressions of belief might seem counterintuitive to parents who want their kids to remain in the fold. Yet Bengtson’s work shows that a home environment that is nurturing but not constricting appears most likely to encourage spiritual roots to grow deep.

Engagement

In dysfunctional societies, some renewal movements are beginning to engage civic institutions and religious “others” to effect positive social change. A fleet of rented minivans from God Bless Nigeria Church pulled up …

Adaptations

Just as Christian renewal movements are shaping the cultures where they are growing, they are also shaped by the imperative to find common values in pluralistic societies. “Joy is in the house!” …

Evolutions

Movements associated with the first wave of global Christian renewal have become institutionalized, sparking new renewalist impulses in the developing world. Glory Moses, a pastor’s daughter, is no spiritual slacker. Other 20-year-olds …

Origins and Growth

When dramatic social change upends conventional forms of belief, the seeds of renewalist religion begin to stir. The Los Angeles Times was not pleased by events unfolding at the Apostolic Faith Gospel …