For many people working on humanitarian causes, spirituality is the force that compels them to be engaged with the world. They may have a ministry to serve the poor or be an activist fighting for human rights. They may be Buddhist, Muslim, Christian or not adhere to any particular tradition. What they share is an engaged spirituality.
From our first project following the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, CRCC’s research and training programs have sought to understand and support faith leaders committed to improving their communities. CRCC continues this work today by studying the lives and work of exemplary people committed to advancing human flourishing across the globe. The following page includes stories of such people, created by CRCC’s researchers and journalist fellows. From the individual stories, CRCC aims to define and establish a field of “spiritual exemplars” and understand how engaged spirituality operates in their lives. This endeavor is supported by the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton Religion Trust.
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Above, Maggie Gorban ministers to children in a slum on the outskirts of Cairo.
- ArticleSarah Byrne-Martelli: A Hospital Chaplain Finds Joyful Sorrow For COVID-19 Patients Facing DeathThis radio documentary was produced by KALW’s The Spiritual Edge, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. To hear this and other profiles, subscribe to The Spiritual Edge podcast in your …Topics: COVID, Engaged Spirituality, Healthcare, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleSarah James: Fighting for What’s Sacred in the Arctic National Wildlife RefugeThis radio documentary was produced by KALW’s The Spiritual Edge, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Listen to it on SpiritualEdge.org. To hear this and other profiles, subscribe to …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Environment, National and Cultural Identity, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleSameer: Leading the Peaceful Resistance Against Israeli OccupationThis radio documentary was produced by KALW’s The Spiritual Edge, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. To hear this and other profiles, subscribe to The Spiritual Edge podcast in …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, International Affairs and Policy, Middle East and North Africa, Muslims and Islam, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
- ArticleJean Bouchebel: Retired From World Vision, but Not From Serving God and RefugeesThis article was originally published by Christianity Today, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. When Jean Bouchebel retired at age 70, he was not ready to simply relax. …Topics: Christianity, Disaster Response, Engaged Spirituality, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Middle East and North Africa, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleRegina Evans: Art and Spirit Inspires Mission to Rescue Sex Trafficked YouthThis radio documentary was originally published by KALW, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Listen to it at KALW.org. California reports more cases of human tracking than any state. …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleKushil Gunasekera: ‘The More You Give, the More Will Be Yours to Give’This article was originally published by The Arrow Journal, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. “I want to be one of the nicest human beings that this earth …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Disaster Response, Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryWhy Genocide Survivors Can Offer a Way to Heal from the Trauma of the PandemicThis article was originally published in The Conversation. The pandemic has been a period of acute trauma at many levels. More than 3 million people have died globally from COVID-19, including over …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Genocide, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
- AnnouncementKALW’s The Spiritual Edge Launches Podcast with Stories of Reality and HopeKALW’s The Spiritual Edge announces the launch of a new podcast, with stories of our collective reality, injected with a dash of hope. The first season of The Spiritual Edge podcast brings …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleUmar Hakim: Humanitarian Day Reborn for a Ramadan in a PandemicThis article was originally published in The Washington Post and Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Last year, Ramadan ended just days before the murder …Topics: Community Organizing, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Muslims and Islam, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleAn Anti-Poverty Policymaker Finds New Meaning in Hindu TextsThis radio documentary was produced by KALW’s The Spiritual Edge, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Listen to it on The Spiritual Edge’s website. It’s a Friday night at the First …Topics: Community Organizing, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Hindus and Hinduism, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsSojourners Magazine: Can Churches Earn the Trust of Young Racial Justice Activists?Religious adherence may be on the decline among young people, but activists in the racial justice movement remain animated by spiritual practices, Sojourners magazine reported. The article quotes CRCC’s Hebah Farrag and …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture
- ArticleThe Spirit of World-Changers: Lessons from the FieldThe Spiritual Exemplars Project (SEP), funded by a grant from the Templeton Religion Trust, has spent the last two years collecting stories of individuals who are inspired by their faith or spiritual …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
“Pessimism, cynicism, despair—these words are not in the vocabulary of spiritual exemplars such as Sister Rosemary and Jean. Instead, I kept hearing the words hope, compassion and love. What really struck me was their entrepreneurial spirit in the face of poverty and trauma. Perhaps visionary action is an antidote to paralyzing anxiety and fear.”
— Donald E. Miller, Countering Pessimism and Despair: An Encounter with two Spiritual Exemplars
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-743-1611
- 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.
- 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.
- Arpi MillerContributing FellowArpi Miller is a sociologist who studies secular and faith-based immigrant advocacy and accompaniment.