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
- 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
- ArticleMarguerite Brankitse: Forgiveness Is Key to Overcoming GenocideThis article was originally published on National Catholic Reporter, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. This year marks 30 years since violence exploded between Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Engaged Spirituality, Genocide, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa
- CRCC in the NewsCapRadio: Najuma Smith on Solidarity within Black and Asian American CommunitiesWhat does racial solidarity look like among communities of color? CRCC’s Rev. Najuma Smith was interviewed on CapRadio’s Mid Pacific about the complex relationship the Black community has with the Asian American …Topics: CMCCE, Race and Culture
- ArticleMai Nguyen: A Grain Farmer Applies Buddhist Principles to Preserve the Land — and Maximize TasteThis article was originally published on Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. The first time Mai Nguyen tried bread made with hard Red Fife wheat, it …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryDonald E. Miller: ‘Spiritual exemplars’ change the media narrative about religionThis article was originally published on Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Media stories about religion often focus on corruption in religious institutions, politicians’ alliances with conservative Christians and …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Media, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsL.A. Times: Najuma Smith on the LAPD Civilian Review ProcessThe Los Angeles Times interviewed CRCC’s Najuma Smith about her decision to volunteer for Los Angeles Police Department civilian review process. The Times investigation found that some reviewers have been chosen repeatedly …Topics: Community Dynamics, Community Organizing, Criminal Justice, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Southern California, Violence
- VideoLayli Miller Muro: Protecting the Rights of Migrants
- CommentaryThriving (or Just Surviving): 2023 Trends to Watch in Religion and SocietyIf CRCC’s annual trends to watch have been growing more ominous in recent years, then 2023 feels like a pivotal year for many of the issues we’ve been tracking: Like our final …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Media, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Southern California, Thriving Congregations
- ArticleHuda Abu Arqoub: Building the Land Her Grandfather KnewPeacebuilder Huda Abu Arqoub has a spiritual vision for Israel/Palestine rooted in the past. A truly holy land, she says, is one in which all can live together. When Huda Abu Arqoub …Topics: Education, Engaged Spirituality, Middle East and North Africa, Muslims and Islam, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
- CommentaryHolistic Resilience: Why Some Spiritual Exemplars Question Suffering as a Path to ResilienceWhen CRCC’s “Spiritual Exemplars Project” team was invited to present about “resilience,” it was easy to think of many examples within our sample of 100+ spiritually engaged humanitarians who had endured and …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Immigration, Jews and Judaism, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleDr. Nikia S. Robert: The Birth Of The Abolitionist SanctuaryThis article was originally published on The Christian Recorder, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. On a late spring Sunday in May, the Rev. Dr. Nikia S. Robert, an …Topics: Black Church, Christians and Christianity, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryStudent Reflection: Curating Religion: Pluralistically, Singularly, or Not At All?By Caris White Caris White is a student at Dartmouth College studying religion and art history. The following blog post was an independent project she worked on during a summer internship with …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Media
“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.