CRCC began in the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots in 1992, when a diverse array of faith-based groups ventured into the public square to help quell violence, engage civic institutions and address the underlying social problems that had contributed to the unrest. Investigating how religious (and irreligious) groups interact with their communities and building the capacity of these groups remain central to CRCC’s mission, both in Southern California and the rest of the world.
Civic engagement includes the myriad ways people seek to exert influence on society, from voting and protesting, to social services, disaster response and community organizing. See our featured topic pages for more.
- FeaturedProtests and UprisingsTopics: Voting and Elections
- AnnouncementCRCC Launches Compelling Preaching InitiativeThe USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture is launching a new project that seeks to help faith leaders think about their preaching to the ever-changing social and cultural landscape. With support …Topics: Black Church, Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Media, preaching, Religious Leadership
- CommentaryThe Radical Resistance and Radical Acceptance of Spiritual ExemplarsHow spiritual exemplars work to create a world befitting of our inherent nobility A key question we are asked by consumers of our research on “spiritual exemplars” is about the qualities of …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Meditation and Prayer, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- VideoSister Networks Building Hope at the US/Mexico Border
- VideoWomen of Integrity: Celebrating 175 Years of the Immaculate Heart Community
- CommentaryThe Complex Relationship Between Religion and HumanitarianismThe hero image of religious saints involved in humanitarian work warrants examination. I have come to this conclusion in the process of leading a global project on “spiritual exemplars” at USC’s Center …Topics: Disaster Response, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Religious Leadership, Social Services, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence, weforum
- CommentarySpiritual Exemplars: The Pragmatism and Mystical Perspective of William JamesWilliam James was the inspiration for our project on “spiritual exemplars” at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. James, a philosopher and psychologist, believed that one learns more from what …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsWashington Post: Richard Flory on Saddleback’s Rick Warren Ordaining WomenRick Warren, founder and pastor of Saddleback Church, is challenging the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) belief that women should not be pastors in their church. Saddleback was disfellowshipped by SBC officials after …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- ArticleDavid Raimundo dos Santos: Without this Black Catholic Priest, Affirmative Action Wouldn’t Be Alive and Thriving in Brazil.This article was originally published on Black Catholic Messenger, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Sometimes the truth hits so hard that it changes your life forever. For the …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Engaged Spirituality, Latin America, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleAfter Thay: Plum Village Reckons With the Loss of Its FounderThis article was originally published on Tricycle with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Monastics in long brown robes entered the hall for formal lunch in order of seniority, the longest ordained …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Community Dynamics, Engaged Spirituality, Europe, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- AnnouncementJohn Orr: Religion professor’s long career at USC helped launch some of the university’s most distinctive programsProfessor Emeritus of Religion John Orr was a continuous presence on the USC campus for nearly 30 years. He helped usher in a number of programs that define the university’s commitment to …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- CommentaryDonald E. Miller: ‘Spiritual exemplars’ change the media narrative about religionThis article was originally published on Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Media stories about religion often focus on corruption in religious institutions, politicians’ alliances with conservative Christians and …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Media, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
“Social networks of human and institutional relationships matter to a society; when they are strong, everything else in the community is strengthened.”
“Civic Participation and the Promise of Democracy”
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
email@example.com or 213-743-1611
- Tobin BelzerTobin Belzer is an applied sociologist who develops research and program evaluations to support the work of non-profit organizations and philanthropists.
- Brad ChristersonBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- 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 FloryExecutive DirectorRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Peter B. GudaitisGuest ContributorPeter B. Gudaitis is an expert of faith communities and disaster readiness, response and recovery.
- Nalika GajaweeraSenior Research AnalystNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- Andrew JohnsonPast 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.
- Juan MartínezPast FellowJuan Martinez studies the history of Latino Protestantism, Latino Protestant identity and transnational mission among U.S. Latinos.
- Donald E. MillerCo-FounderDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.
- Jon MillerGuest ContributorJon Miller is a comparative sociologist and director of the international mission photography archive.
- John B. OrrCo-founder & Past FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.
- Bruce PhillipsBruce Phillips is among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry and is an avid historian of Los Angeles.
- Rhonda RoumaniContributing FellowRhonda Roumani is a freelance journalist who writes about both the Middle East and Islam in the Muslim world and in the United States.
- Najuma SmithAssistant Director of Community and Public EngagementRev. Najuma Smith combines her experience as a pastor and expertise as a community leader to train Murray Center Fellows.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street was a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.