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
- CommentaryStudent Reflection: Curating Religion: Pluralistically, Singularly, or Not At All?By Caris White Caris White is a student at Dartmouth College with interests in religion and art history. The following blog post was an independent project she worked on during a summer …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Media
- CommentaryRemembering Edmund Kaszibuloh Koroma: A Savior and Peace BuilderHe was many things rolled into one: A committed community peace builder, a passionate promoter of religious tolerance and a tireless advocate of free education for children. Above all, Edmund Kaszibuloh Koroma …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Education, Engaged Spirituality, Muslims and Islam, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa, Violence
- CommentaryFinding Accountability and a Moral Agenda After Revelations of Racism in City HallPoliticians are elected to represent all of their constituents, not just those who voted for or supported them. They should be fair-minded and not traffic in exclusionary or discriminatory practices, or promote …Topics: Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Religious Pluralism
- CRCC in the NewsKPCC: Najuma Smith-Pollard on LA Council Members’ Racist RemarksFaith leaders are among those calling for accountability after the revelations of racist comments in a conversation between some of Los Angeles’ top Latino political leaders. The Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard spoke …Topics: CMCCE, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership
- CommentaryWhy They Cross the Mediterranean: Italy’s ‘Guardian Angel of Refugees’ in Conversation with a Survivor of the 2013 Lampedusa ShipwreckFor nearly 20 years, Eritrean Catholic Priest Mussie Zerai has fielded thousands of distress calls from refugees and migrants on shipwrecked vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. “I’ve heard the voices. I’ve heard …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Engaged Spirituality, Europe, Immigration, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa
- VideoFather Mussie Zerai: The Migrant Priest
- VideoPassing on the Kindness: A Conversation on Faith and Social Entrepreneurship
- ArticleLara Aharonian: Advocating for Armenia’s Vulnerable WomenThis article was originally published by Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. YEREVAN, Armenia (RNS) — Home for Lara Aharonian is this capital city whose architecture …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Engaged Spirituality, Gender and Sexuality, Middle East and North Africa, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleCaroline Bundy: Finding Grace for Homeless Youth and LGBTQ+ in AlabamaThis article was originally published by Alabama Political Reporter, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Alabama’s governor recently signed a pair of bills—one criminalizing gender-affirming care for transgender youth and …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Gender and Sexuality, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleTeresa Forcades: A Catholic Nun who Complicates the Abortion ConversationThis article was originally published by The Independent, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. It’s time to reimagine the debate around abortion. We are trapped in the tyranny of …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Engaged Spirituality, Gender and Sexuality, Healthcare, Nuns and Women Religious, Public Health, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleRuth Messinger: The New York City Politician’s Long Second Act Honors ‘an Obligation to Respond’This article was originally published by Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. (RNS) — New Yorkers of a certain age remember Ruth Messinger as a city …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Gender and Sexuality, Jews and Judaism, Political Attitudes and Values, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleZannah Mustapha: Teaching Boko Haram’s kidsThis article was originally published in The Christian Science Monitor, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA — One morning in May, Zina Mustapha stood before her 20 …Topics: Education, Engaged Spirituality, Muslims and Islam, 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 Implementation and PracticeTarra 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.
- 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.
- Rebecca SagerContributing FellowRebecca Sager’s work focuses on political and religious movements and parties in American political life.