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
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- ArticleDavid Raimundo dos Santos: Without this Black Catholic Priest, Affirmative Action Wouldn’t Be Alive and Thriving in Brazil.This article was originally published on Black Catholic Messenger, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Sometimes the truth hits so hard that it changes your life forever. For the …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Engaged Spirituality, Latin America, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryThe Moral Power of Stories: How Exemplars Help Us Find Meaning and PurposeWhat has more emotional salience, an abstract moral principle such as love or justice or a good story of someone whose life commitments exemplify these values? Shortly after I finished my Ph.D. …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Media, Spiritual Exemplars
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- ArticleSonia Tinoco García: Responding to Muslim Asylum Seekers at the US-Mexico BorderThis article was originally published on New Lines Magazine, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. It’s late afternoon in Tijuana, and the air is hot and thick. Hamza — …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Immigration, Muslims and Islam, Southern California, Spiritual Exemplars
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“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 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.
- 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. MillerCo-FounderDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.
- Jon MillerGuest ContributorJon Miller is a comparative sociologist and director of the international mission photography archive.
- Arpi MillerArpi 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.
- Najuma SmithAssistant Director of Community and Public EngagementRev. Najuma Smith combines her experience as a pastor and expertise as a community leader to train Murray Center Fellows.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street was a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.
- Megan SweasEditor and Director of CommunicationsMegan Sweas is a journalist specializing in social and economic justice issues and world religions.
- Tarra McNallyTarra McNally is an anthropologist specializing in evaluation and global health.
- Rev. Frank Jackson, Jr.Rev. Frank Jackson, Jr. couples his experience in business and investment with his passion for community development.
- Diane WinstonAs a journalist and scholar, Diane Winston is a national authority on religion, politics, the news media and entertainment.