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
- 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
- ArticleFouzia Azizi: Refugee to Refugee, Afghan Resettlement Worker Draws from Faith and ExperienceThis article was originally published by Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. CONCORD, Calif. (RNS) — Sayed Hashmi, an Afghan citizen, did not want to leave his …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Immigration, Muslims and Islam, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleSister Agatha Chikelue: Committed to Building Peace in NigeriaThis article was originally published by Global Sisters Report, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. When she was an infant, Agatha Chikelue became gravely ill. Her parents took her to …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Nuns and Women Religious, Religious Leadership, Sub-Saharan Africa, Violence
- ArticleSister Teresa Forcades: A Catholic Nun Who Rejects the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life BinaryThis article was originally published by Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Catholic nun and medical doctor Teresa Forcades says women should make their own abortion …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Europe, Gender and Sexuality, Healthcare, Nuns and Women Religious, Public Health
- CRCC in the NewsNY Times: Najuma Smith-Pollard on Abortion Views in Black CommunitiesAmong Black Americans, support for reproductive rights is connected with their concern for broader civil rights, the New York Times reports. The article frames CRCC’s Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard as helping shape …Topics: CMCCE, Gender and Sexuality, Healthcare, Political Attitudes and Values, Public Health, Religious Leadership, Voting and Elections
- ArticleTom Catena: Choosing Joy Over HappinessThis article was originally published by Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. GIDEL, Sudan — The media is filled with articles on how to achieve happiness, including in …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Engaged Spirituality, Healthcare, Public Health, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa, Violence
- CRCC in the NewsCRCC on Religion and Reproductive Rights After the Overturning of Roe v WadeDiscussions about reproductive rights continue to circulate in the religious community after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. CRCC’s Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard and Richard Flory have been interviewed …Topics: Gender and Sexuality, Healthcare, Political Attitudes and Values, Public Health
“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.