One of the fascinating aspects of living in a time of great religious flux is the boom in religious (and irreligious) innovation. Young adults who are leaving established institutions are forming new kinds of associations to nurture a sense of purpose and belonging. Congregations with empty pews are experimenting with novel forms of music and liturgy to try to attract converts as well as to retain the faithful. Service-oriented groups that welcome all comers, regardless of religious affiliation, are flourishing across the country. And a variety of spiritual practices that focus on the experience of individual believers are flourishing in the West as well in as in the global South.
- ReportUncharted Pilgrimages: Mapping Contemporary Spiritual JourneysTopics: Creativity and Innovation, Southern California, weforum
- EventReimagining Religion Conference Program and Livestream – Feb. 9, 2017Scroll below to watch the livestream (times of panels noted on conference schedule) February 9, 2017 University of Southern California Preview: Increasingly, Americans are choosing not to identify with a particular religious …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Meditation and Prayer, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious "Nones", Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Rituals, Southern California
- ArticleMapping the New Landscape of Religion in Los FelizThis article originally appeared in BOOM: A Journal of California. Mt. Hollywood Congregational Church was in trouble. Its congregation had become too small to sustain the decaying Los Feliz building that had …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Place and Religion, Religious Affiliation, Southern California
- CRCC in the NewsKPCC LAist 89.3: Richard Flory on How Gen-Z Are Finding (Or Moving Away From) ReligionHow has living in a time of tremendous social change influenced Gen Z’s attitudes towards religion–organized or otherwise? CRCC’s executive director Richard Flory was on KPCC LAist 89.3’s Airtalk with Larry Mantle …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Religious Affiliation
- ArticleTen Characteristics of Thriving Communities of FaithEven as religious affiliation continues to decline, CRCC’s research on religious creativity and innovation has found groups that are thriving across religious traditions. While not necessarily large (though some are), these groups …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Thriving Congregations
- ArticleReimagining (Again): Key Lessons on Ministry Sustainability in a Post-Pandemic WorldThe USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) recently held its first in-person event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019. More than 70 clergy and faith-inspired community …Topics: Community Organizing, Creativity and Innovation, Faith-Based Organizations, Religious Affiliation, Religious Leadership, Social Services, Thriving Congregations
- ArticleSitting in the Fire Together: People of Color Cultivating Radical Resilience in North American Insight MeditationThis article appeared in the Journal of Global Buddhism’s Special Issue on Buddhism and Resilience, Vol 22, No 1 (2021), co-edited by Nalika Gajaweera. Abstract Drawing upon ethnographic research conducted in California …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Race and Culture, TAS
- ArticleJournal of Global Buddhism: Special Issue on Buddhism and ResilienceNalika Gajaweera co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Global Buddhism on Buddhism and Resilience with Darcie DeAngelo. Below is an excerpt of their introduction along with a list of articles …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Race and Culture, TAS
- BookReligion in Los Angeles: Religious Activism, Innovation and Diversity in the Global CityReligion in Los Angeles: Religious Activism, Innovation and Diversity in the Global City Edited by Richard Flory and Diane Winston (Routledge, 2021) Why has Los Angeles been a hotspot for religious activism, …Topics: Books, Buddhists and Buddhism, Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Community Organizing, Creativity and Innovation, Faith-Based Organizations, Hindus and Hinduism, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Jews and Judaism, Pentecostals and Pentecostalism, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- ArticleNica Aquino: Searching for HomeIronically, hope for the Kalinga way of life may be found far from Lubuagan and the Chico River, in the outposts of the Filipino diaspora. For example, one of Cirilo “Sapi” Bawer’s …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Engaged Spirituality, Place and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture
- AnnouncementTransforming the American Sangha: Race, Racism and Diversity in North American Insight MeditationNorth American Insight Meditation institutions, rooted in the Vipassana tradition of Theravada Buddhism, are often seen as liberal, inclusive multicultural spaces committed to welcoming diverse constituencies into their communities. The research undertaken …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Race and Culture
- ArticleAzza Karam: The Role Of Women In Faith And DiplomacyThis article was originally published in Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. LINDAU— Azza Karam was just about to step up to the podium at the Inselhalle in …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Government and Religion, International Affairs and Policy, Political Attitudes and Values, Spiritual Exemplars
“Most people would probably be surprised to hear ‘faith’ and ‘innovation’ used in the same sentence. But any conversation about leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation has plenty of space for the topic of faith.”
—Rebecca McQuigg Rigal
“A Leap of …Entrepreneurship? Finding a Place for Faith in Social Innovation”
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- 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.
- 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. 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.
- Bruce PhillipsBruce Phillips is among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry and is an avid historian of Los Angeles.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street is a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.