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
- VideoWhy a Complaint Collective in Buddhist Studies?
- Article#BuddhistCultureWars: Buddhabros, Alt-Right Dharma, and Snowflake SanghasThis article appeared in the Journal of Global Buddhism Vol 22, No 1 (2021) and was co-authored by Ann Gleig and Brenna Artinger. Abstract While often associated with a liberal demographic, the …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, TAS
- ArticleSitting in the Fire Together: People of Color Cultivating Radical Resilience in North American Insight MeditationThis article appeared in the Journal of Global Buddhism’s Special Issue on Buddhism and Resilience, Vol 22, No 1 (2021), co-edited by Nalika Gajaweera. Abstract Drawing upon ethnographic research conducted in California …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Race and Culture, TAS
- ArticleJournal of Global Buddhism: Special Issue on Buddhism and ResilienceNalika Gajaweera co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Global Buddhism on Buddhism and Resilience with Darcie DeAngelo. Below is an excerpt of their introduction along with a list of articles …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Race and Culture, TAS
- CRCC in the NewsNew York Times: Najuma Smith-Pollard on Police FundingAs part of its coverage of the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, the New York Times wrote about the debate over funding for the …Topics: CMCCE, Criminal Justice
- CommentaryThe End (of Lockdown) is Near: Opening Houses of Worship in a Time of UncertaintyI had just announced our church’s plans to resume in-person worship when someone called and told me they had contracted COVID-19. Immediately, I second-guessed the decision to reopen our worship building for …Topics: COVID, Healthcare, Religious Leadership, Thriving Congregations
- CommentaryWhy Genocide Survivors Can Offer a Way to Heal from the Trauma of the PandemicThis article was originally published in The Conversation. The pandemic has been a period of acute trauma at many levels. More than 3 million people have died globally from COVID-19, including over …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Genocide, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
- ArticleUmar Hakim: Humanitarian Day Reborn for a Ramadan in a PandemicThis article was originally published in The Washington Post and Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Last year, Ramadan ended just days before the murder …Topics: Community Organizing, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Muslims and Islam, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsThe LAist: Smith-Pollard on Gascón’s Parole ReformsL.A. District Attorney George Gascón prohibited his prosecutors from opposing parole or attending parole hearings in a reform meant to encourage the release of those with low risk of committing another crime. …Topics: CMCCE, Criminal Justice
- CRCC in the NewsRev. Najuma Smith-Pollard on Chauvin TrialReligious leaders anticipated and responded to the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, program manager for the USC Cecil Murray Center …Topics: Criminal Justice, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture
- CommentaryIn Wake of Chauvin Trial, What Can Faith Leaders Learn From the Rodney King LA Civil Unrest?This article was originally published in Religion News Service and The Washington Post. As the U.S. reacts to the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, many are wary of violence …Topics: CMCCE, Criminal Justice, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- ArticleAn Anti-Poverty Policymaker Finds New Meaning in Hindu TextsThis radio documentary was produced by KALW’s The Spiritual Edge, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Listen to it on The Spiritual Edge’s website. It’s a Friday night at the First …Topics: Community Organizing, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Hindus and Hinduism, Spiritual Exemplars
“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 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 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 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 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.