Religions may have their eternal truths, but forms of religious expression are shaped by the geography, culture, economics and other factors that define a particular place. Religious organizations in the United States and China, for example, work with government agencies in very different ways. Los Angeles and Seoul have similar proportions of people who don’t identify with a religion, yet religious affiliation trends are going in opposite directions in each city. Pentecostals in Brazil and Nigeria are concurrently seeking their place in two dramatically different societies.
CRCC has studied religion in Southern California for 20 years, and our research into global Pentecostalism and religious competition and creative innovation has given our researchers expertise in Asia and other regions in the developing world. Comparing the religious landscape in various parts of the world yields useful insight into the growth and evolution of religious movements, as well as religion’s relationships with other aspects of society.
- 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
- ArticleEla Gandhi: New Book Shares The Life And Lessons of Anti-Apartheid ActivistThis article was originally published in Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. BERLIN— There is a temptation when you meet Ela Gandhi to assume her soft, fluttering voice, …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa
- ArticleSonic Fields of Protection in Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 PandemicIn a piece for the Asia Research Institute, CRCC’s Nalika Gajaweera and fellow anthropologist Neena Mahadev examine how for Sinhala Buddhists, pirit recitations serve to channel Dharmic energies and intentions during the COVID-19 …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, COVID, Healthcare, Race and Culture
- ArticleSister Rosemary Nyirumbe: A Skeptic’s Take On A Nun’s Vocation To Serve The Poor Regardless Of RisksThis article was originally published by Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. ATIAK, Uganda— Studying religion all of my academic career has made me into a bit of …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa
- ArticleHeline Babiene Eweni: In Cameroon, A 24-Year-Old Youth Pastor Is Helping Hundreds Displaced By ConflictThis article was originally published by Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. KUMBA, Cameroon — At precisely 10 p.m. every day, she locks herself in the silence of …Topics: COVID, Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa
- ArticleSpiritual Leadership in MyanmarI visited Yangon for the first time in January 2020, and from the airport tarmac into its downtown, the city had been signposted with billboards of Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s face. She …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious Leadership
- ArticleThe Mothers of the Righteous Society: Lay Buddhist Women as Agents of the Sinhala Nationalist ImageryThe following is an excerpt of an article by Nalika Gajaweera published in the Journal of Global Buddhism. Read the full article on globalbuddhism.org. Discussions about the gendered experience of Buddhism, especially …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Gender
- ArticleIda Puliwa: How A Stranger’s Kindness Transformed A Village In MalawiThis article was originally published in Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. In my last international trip before the pandemic, I had the chance to interview a young …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa
- CommentaryThe Women Sustaining Sufism—and an Activist—in TunisiaPriyadarshini Sen reported from Tunisia as part of CRCC’s Global Project on Engaged Spirituality. On a hilltop overlooking western Tunis, the whitewashed shrine of Syeda Manouba—a Sufi saint of the 13th century …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Gender, Middle East and North Africa, Muslims and Islam, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleSwami Agnivesh: One of His Final Interviews in Caravan MagazineThis interview was originally published in The Caravan, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. It has been edited and condensed. *** On 11 September, Agnivesh, a swami in the Arya …Topics: Asia, Engaged Spirituality, Government and Religion, Hindus and Hinduism, Religious Extremism, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleMarie-Stella Kouak: The Togolese Nun Caring for AIDS Patients Amid COVID-19This article was originally published in The Guardian, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Dapaong is a buzzing, multi-religious city, 13 miles south of Togo’s border with Burkina Faso and …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, COVID, Engaged Spirituality, Healthcare, Nuns and Women Religious, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa
- ArticleIndira Ranamagar: Nepalese Women in Prison Turn to AmaThis article was originally published in Indian Country Today, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Our aunties are the same all over the world. They are the “go to” women …Topics: Asia, Criminal Justice, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Gender, Spiritual Exemplars
“More than 80 percent of the population of the UAE is composed of non-citizens—a remarkable statistic that accounts, at least in part, for why the restiveness of the Arab Spring made barely a ripple here. Still, the relative tolerance of the UAE’s authoritarian regime makes for some fascinating contradictions. Non-Muslim religious movements are tightly constrained in where and how they can conduct their activities, but if they play by the rules, it’s easy to flourish.”
“Spiritual Sargasso Sea: A Long Weekend in Dubai”
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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.
- Nalika GajaweeraResearch AssociateNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rhonda RoumaniContributing FellowRhonda Roumani is a freelance journalist who writes about both the Middle East and Islam in the Muslim world and in the United States.