USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Richard Flory (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is senior director of research and evaluation at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. He is a sociologist whose research focuses on religious and cultural change, religion and urban life, and the religious and spiritual lives of youth and young adults.

He has published several books, most recently, Back Pocket God: Religion in the Lives of Emerging Adults (Oxford University Press, in press) and The Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders are Changing the Religious Landscape (Oxford University Press, 2017). He currently has a book on religion in Los Angeles under review (City of Dreams: Los Angeles as a Cradle for Religious Activism, Innovation, and Diversity), and is at work on two books, The Dream Center: Reimagining Urban Ministry (with Hebah Farrag) and Reimagining Religion: Vibrant Faith in Unsettled Times (with Brie Loskota).

Professor Flory has been awarded more than $6.5 million for research and evaluation projects while at USC. Most recently, he was principal investigator for the Religious Competition and Creative Innovation project, a $2.6 million initiative funded by the John Templeton Foundation that investigated the link between religious competition, cooperation and innovation in Los Angeles and Seoul, South Korea. He is currently working on a project that investigates the dynamics of religious change across multiple global locations. His research has been supported by grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Lilly Endowment, the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation, and the Louisville Institute.

Flory has been quoted by a variety of publications, including the L.A. Times, the New York TimesBuzzfeed News and NPR, and he has written for publications such as Religion Dispatches, The ConversationPatheos and Zócalo Public Square.

Areas of Expertise

  • Religious and cultural change
  • Youth and young adults
  • Urban life
  • Civic Engagement
  • Faith-Based Organizations
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Richard Flory