Depending on your point of view, religion is the source of values like compassion and social justice that are essential to the harmonious co-existence of diverse groups in any given society. Or it provides the rationalization for intolerance and injustice toward the “other,” which is the root of conflict and suffering. Reality, of course, is much more complicated than either perspective.
In any case, religious beliefs—and beliefs about religion—inevitably shape social values and political power, in both the secular societies of the global North and the deeply religious cultures of the global South. Explore the relationship between religion and a variety of social and political issues, from economic inequality to immigration.
Photo Credit: Franco Folini
- CRCC in the NewsMedia on the 30 Years after LA’s 1992 Civil UnrestAs the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture reflected on the 1992 Civil Unrest, the words and efforts of the Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray following the unrest continued to be highlighted …Topics: Black Church, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Southern California
- CRCC in the NewsLA Times: Nalika Gajaweera on How Buddhists Are Responding to Anti-Asian ViolenceThe March 16, 2021 killing of six women of Asian descent and two others brought Asian Buddhists together across lineages and communities to confront anti-Asian hate. A year later, the LA Times …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Race and Culture, Violence
- CommentaryStudent Reflection: Researching Healing Justice with Dignity and Power NowBy Addison Baker Addison Baker is an undergraduate student at The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Addison spent time researching the Black Lives Matter movement, along with healing modalities and …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Race and Culture, Southern California, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
- CRCC in the NewsABC7: Najuma Smith-Pollard on Black History MonthCRCC’s Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard was interviewed on ABC7 News about Black History Month. “It’s about having the mindset of we and us, not just me and myself alone,” Smith-Pollard said. “Black …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, Race and Culture
- VideoFor Covering and Joy: A Prayer for Black History Month
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- ArticleCarmen Santiago Alonso: In Oaxaca, Indigenous Farmers Mourn Catholic ActivistThis article was originally published by Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. OAXACA, Mexico (RNS) — At Carmen Santiago Alonso’s funeral on Feb. 7, the …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Community Organizing, Engaged Spirituality, Environment, Latin America, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- ReportWealth-Building ResourcesWhat are your life goals? The USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement hosts workshops to help you build your wealth. Attend a workshop and find the motivation, confidence and tools you …Topics: CMCCE, Economic Inequality,
- VideoDr. Christina Puchalski: COVID-19 Highlights Spiritual Needs In Health Care
- CRCC in the NewsCBS2 and Spectrum News 1: Najuma Smith-Pollard on Martin Luther King Day Jr.CRCC’s Najuma Smith-Pollard was featured on CBS2 and Spectrum News 1’s “In Focus SoCal” to talk about how Los Angeles communities are continuing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speaking …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, Economic Inequality, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- CommentaryPandemic Year 3 Predictions: Adjusting to New “Normals” in 2022Since 2016, CRCC has shared the trends in religion and society that we see shaping the coming year. What started as light-hearted predictions has grown more ominous over the years. Anybody surprised …Topics: Black Church, Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Media, Meditation and Prayer, Political Attitudes and Values, Protests and Uprisings, Religious Leadership, Religious Pluralism, Voting and Elections
- ArticleNeris Gonzalez: ‘My Dreams Will Never Be the Same’This story was originally published by Harvard Divinity Bulletin, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. NERIS GONZALEZ WAS WATCHING the news when the grainy video of George Floyd appeared. She sat …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Engaged Spirituality, International Affairs and Policy, Latin America, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
“It is, finally, not the external forms of religion that matter so much; they are cultural products, vessels (potential conduits) of the holy, not to be confused with the divine (which would be idolatry). What is important is the quality of life that results from one’s concourse with the God beyond gods.”
—Donald E. Miller
“The Future of Liberal Christianity”
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- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad 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.
- Rev. Frank Jackson, Jr.Contributing FellowRev. Frank Jackson, Jr. couples his experience in business and investment with his passion for community development.
- 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.
- Brie LoskotaContributing FellowBrie Loskota researches how religions change and make change in the world, and works to build the capacity of religious communities around the globe.
- Juan MartínezPast FellowJuan Martinez studies the history of Latino Protestantism, Latino Protestant identity and transnational mission among U.S. Latinos.
- Tarra McNallyAssistant Director of EvaluationTarra McNally is an anthropologist specializing in evaluation and global health.
- 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.
- Jon MillerSenior Research AssociateJon Miller is a comparative sociologist and director of the international mission photography archive.
- Arpi MillerContributing FellowArpi Miller is a sociologist who studies secular and faith-based immigrant advocacy and accompaniment.
- Cecil L. MurrayUniversity FellowRev. Cecil Murray works to ensure that the legacy of African American Church leaders pass on their years of experience to the next generation.
- John B. OrrCo-founder & Past FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.
- Joe PalaciosContributing FellowJoe Palacios, a sociologist and Catholic priest, studies religion, politics and social justice in Latin America and among immigrants in the United States.
- Nadia RoumaniContributing FellowNadia Roumani has worked with a wide range of organizations over the past decade to better understand the needs of Muslim communities across the United States.