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.
- CommentaryStones that Have Weathered Many Storms: A Reporter’s Notebook from a Human Rights Defender’s Place of SolaceIn the rugged landscape of the Kotayk Province of Armenia, Geghard Monastery rises from an amphitheater of steep cliffs like a revelation. Even the long trek to the monastery complex, surrounded by …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Meditation and Prayer, Middle East and North Africa, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleLara Aharonian: Advocating for Armenia’s Vulnerable WomenThis article was originally published by Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. YEREVAN, Armenia (RNS) — Home for Lara Aharonian is this capital city whose architecture …Topics: Christians and Christianity, Engaged Spirituality, Gender and Sexuality, Middle East and North Africa, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsRNS: Gajaweera on Buddhism and Sri Lanka’s Recent Protest MovementProtests that led to Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resignation have raised questions about the role of Buddhism in the country’s politics. Religion News Service interviewed CRCC’s Nalika Gajaweera about the Buddhist …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Protests and Uprisings, Religious Leadership
- ArticleSister Agatha Chikelue: Committed to Building Peace in NigeriaThis article was originally published by Global Sisters Report, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. When she was an infant, Agatha Chikelue became gravely ill. Her parents took her to …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Nuns and Women Religious, Religious Leadership, Sub-Saharan Africa, Violence
- ArticleTom Catena: Choosing Joy Over HappinessThis article was originally published by Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. GIDEL, Sudan — The media is filled with articles on how to achieve happiness, including in …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Engaged Spirituality, Healthcare, Public Health, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa, Violence
- ArticleSri Lanka’s Dual Crisis: Ethnic Conflict & the Debt EconomyThis article was originally published by Jamhoor. “Except for the home crowd cheering for our national team at an international cricket match, it was the first time I was seeing Sri Lankans …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, National and Cultural Identity, Protests and Uprisings
- CRCC in the NewsMedia on the 30 Years after LA’s 1992 Civil UnrestAs the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture reflected on the 1992 Civil Unrest, the words and efforts of the Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray following the unrest continued to be highlighted …Topics: Black Church, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Southern California
- CommentaryCommunality: A Possible Solution to Environmental Protection“An individual does not exist,” Jaime Martínez Luna, a Zapotec intellectual (pictured in yellow jacket), told me as we shared coffee in his kitchen in the small mountain village of San Pablo …Topics: Community Dynamics, Engaged Spirituality, Environment, Latin America, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleWhy Activism Thrives in L.A.’s Black ChurchesThis article was originally published by Trojan Family Magazine. by Eric Lindberg; Photos by Gus Ruelas Many members of the Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard’s church near downtown Los Angeles struggled for food during the …Topics: Black Church, Christians and Christianity, CMCCE, COVID, Religious Leadership, Southern California
- CommentaryStudent Reflection: Researching Healing Justice with Dignity and Power NowBy Addison Baker Addison Baker is an undergraduate student at The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Addison spent time researching the Black Lives Matter movement, along with healing modalities and …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Race and Culture, Southern California, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
- ArticleCarmen Santiago Alonso: In Oaxaca, Indigenous Farmers Mourn Catholic ActivistThis article was originally published by Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. OAXACA, Mexico (RNS) — At Carmen Santiago Alonso’s funeral on Feb. 7, the …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Community Organizing, Engaged Spirituality, Environment, Latin America, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsCBS2 and Spectrum News 1: Najuma Smith-Pollard on Martin Luther King Day Jr.CRCC’s Najuma Smith-Pollard was featured on CBS2 and Spectrum News 1’s “In Focus SoCal” to talk about how Los Angeles communities are continuing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speaking …Topics: Black Church, CMCCE, Economic Inequality, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Southern California
“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”
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.
- 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.
- 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 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 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.