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 NewsL.A. Times: Muslims Express Concern Ahead of Trump InaugerationAmerican Muslims fear Donald Trump’s presidency may bring hostility and legislation targeted against them, the Los Angeles Times reported. CRCC’s Brie Loskota provided context for the article, saying that concerns about hate …Topics: Muslims and Islam, Race and Culture
- CommentaryThe Invisible Muslims: Reporting about Islam in AmericaThis piece originally appeared on Nieman Reports. Days after last year’s terrorist attack on a public services center in San Bernardino, California, Kristen Stangas was standing amid a cluster of reporters outside …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Media, Muslims and Islam, Religious Extremism, Violence
- CRCC in the NewsL.A. Sentinel: Faith Leaders Urge ThankfulnessThe Los Angeles Sentinel asked Southern California faith leaders to share what they’re thankful for during a year that has been particularly hard on communities of color. The article quoted both the …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, Economic Inequality, Race and Culture, Voting and Elections
- CRCC in the NewsDeseret News: Why Teens Leave the FaithWithin the growing portion of religious “nones,” many who leave their childhood religion behind do so as a teenager. The Deseret News quoted CRCC’s Richard Flory about this phenomenon, as well as …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Family and Relationships, Religious "Nones", Religious Affiliation
- CRCC in the NewsCatholic Sisters Discuss Sustainable Development in Africa at Nairobi ConveningAlong with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC), CRCC convened leaders from the Catholic Church, NGOs, state governments and foundations for “Catholic Sisters: Champions of Sustainable …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Creativity and Innovation, Faith-Based Organizations, Hunger and Food Policy, Nuns and Women Religious, Sub-Saharan Africa
- CommentaryTrump Will Always Be With Us – Rev. Cecil Murray on the ElectionAs soon as I entered my office on Wednesday morning, people started calling me. The callers are in shock, amazement, at what happened in the presidential race. I listen, and then I …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Voting and Elections
- VideoDignity and Power Now: The Spirituality of Black Lives Matter
- CommentarySurprised American Evangelicals Voted for Trump? They Have a History of RacismThis post originally appeared on International Business Times. As a scholar of religion, one story that has intrigued me since the beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign is how Trump’s candidacy—now his …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Voting and Elections
- CommentaryA Post-Election Prayer for Love, Families and UnityThe Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, program manager for the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, was part of a prayer service for hope and unity at the Cathedral of Our Lady of …Topics: Black Church, Christians and Christianity, CMCCE, Family and Relationships, Government and Religion, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- VideoA Faith Leader Serves His Local Community at Church and on the City Council
- CommentaryHow to solve the difficult problem of adding ‘Muslim’ to ‘American’This post originally appeared on the Los Angeles Times. In mid-September, my 6-year-old daughter ran into our living room and literally started jumping for joy. “Baba, it’s a miracle!” she told her father with …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Family and Relationships, Media, Muslims and Islam, National and Cultural Identity, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture
- VideoLaundry Love: Making a Laundromat Sacred through Service
“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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- Sumaya AbubakerProject ManagerSumaya Abubaker manages leadership and civic engagement programming for minority faith communities.
- Steven Barrie-AnthonyContributing FellowSteven Barrie-Anthony is a scholar and writer who examines spiritual and religious innovation and change and its impacts on public life, such as on styles of civic and political action.
- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- Samuel ChuContributing FellowSamuel Chu is a seasoned community organizer and strategist who works at the intersection of faith and public policy.
- 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 FlorySenior Director of Research and EvaluationRichard 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 JohnsonResearch AssociateAndrew 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 religionin the city.
- Brie LoskotaExecutive DirectorBrie Loskota researches how religions change and make change in the world, and works to build the capacity of religious communities around the globe.
- Juan MartínezContributing 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.
- 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 & University FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.