Many people assume that religion is unchanging across time and place, but in order to survive, religion must adapt to new social and cultural realities. Membership and participation in religious groups fluctuates over time, with some groups gaining or losing adherents in the process. Religious affiliation may be related to many different things, including basic population shifts through immigration and aging.
Religion also changes through the varying needs and desires of different generations—what one generation thinks is sacrosanct, the next generation may consider no longer essential to their faith. Further, religious organizations must keep up with how the spiritual and religious needs of individuals change across their life course. Religions must adapt to the needs and demands of both young and old adherents, even as they maintain the core tenets of the tradition.
Photo Credit: Stefan Georgi
- CRCC in the NewsReligion News Service: Richard Flory on Young Adults Leaving ReligionYoung adults are leaving organized religion in high numbers. Religion News Service spoke with co-authors Melinda Lundquist Denton and CRCC’s Richard Flory on the findings in their new book about the changing …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Millennials, Population Trends
- AudioDean Issacharoff: A Former Israeli Soldier Questions His Country and FaithThis 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 website. Dean Issacharoff wears …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Jews and Judaism, Middle East and North Africa, National and Cultural Identity, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
- BookBack-Pocket God: Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of Emerging AdultsBack-Pocket God: Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of Emerging Adults By Melinda Lundquist Denton & Richard Flory (Oxford University Press, 2020) More than a decade ago, a group of researchers began …Topics: Books, Millennials, Religious Affiliation
- CRCC in the NewsDeseret News: Flory on Justin Bieber’s ChristianityWhy does it seem that everyone is buzzing about Justin Bieber’s faith? Deseret News interviewed Richard Flory on the allure of celebrity Christians. Here is an excerpt: That’s been the case for …Topics: Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Religious Affiliation
- CRCC in the NewsDeseret News: Flory on Declining Church AttendanceToday, nearly 1/4 of Americans do not affiliate with a faith group, and church leaders across the country are growing concerned on how to combat declining church attendance rates. Deseret News interviewed CRCC’s Senior Director …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Religious "Nones", Religious Affiliation
- CRCC in the NewsReligion News Service: As Americans Disengage From Religion, A California Institution Encourages QuestioningAgainst the backdrop of decreasing religiosity in America, the Krikshnamurti Foundation of America (KFA) finds a growing following that encourages members to question and reach their own conclusions about their faith. Religion …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Religious "Nones", Religious Affiliation
- CRCC in the NewsLarry King Now: Richard Flory on the Future of Faith in AmericaDespite the fact that the United States remains the most religious first world country in the world, religiosity is on the decline among Americans under 40. Joining a panel of faith leaders, …Topics: Religious Affiliation
- CommentaryHoly Listening Connects Young Adults to ChurchesThis post, co-authored by Dori Baker, originally appeared on Faith & Leadership. Multicolored Post-it notes dot the walls of the seminary classroom. Here, in a pop-up design thinking lab, people are buzzing …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Millennials, Religious Affiliation
- CRCC in the NewsThe Hill: Richard Flory on the Religious Right’s Criticism of Trump’s Immigration PoliciesThe controversy over child separation at the southern border is forcing many conservative Christian leaders to be more critical of Donald Trump than they have in the past. Though some believe this …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Community Dynamics, Government and Religion, Immigration, International Affairs and Policy, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious Affiliation, Religious Leadership
- CommentaryLA-Times Op-Ed: The Leaner, and Arguably Meaner, Evangelical ChurchThis Op-Ed originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times on May 31, 2018. Franklin Graham, the evangelical preacher and son of Billy Graham, is in the midst of a 10-city tour of …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Government and Religion, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious "Nones"
- CRCC in the NewsThe Aspen Institute: Loskota on Tackling Hate Through Interfaith InitiativesBridging faith communities is essential to combat violence against minorities and create partnerships to tackle the challenges that face society. The Aspen Institute interviewed CRCC Executive Director Brie Loskota for a podcast …Topics: Community Dynamics, Creativity and Innovation, Faith-Based Organizations, Media, Political Attitudes and Values, Population Trends, Religious Affiliation, Religious Leadership
- VideoReligion on the Move in Los Feliz
“In major urban centers across the United States, there is a generalized perception that individuals in their 20s and early 30s constitute a ‘black hole’ in congregational life. Members of the young-adult population are simply missing from most churches, synagogues and mosques.”
—Tobin Belzer, Richard Flory, Nadia Roumani and Brie Loskota, in Congregations that Get It: Understanding Religious Identities in the Next Generation
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
email@example.com or 213-743-1611
- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- 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.
- Nalika GajaweeraResearch AssociateNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- 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.
- 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.
- John B. OrrCo-founder & Past FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.
- Bruce PhillipsUniversity FellowBruce Phillips is among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry and is an avid historian of Los Angeles.
- 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.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street is 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.