For many people working on humanitarian causes, spirituality is the force that compels them to be engaged with the world. They may have a ministry to serve the poor or be an activist fighting for human rights. They may be Buddhist, Muslim, Christian or not adhere to any particular tradition. What they share is an engaged spirituality.
From our first project following the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, CRCC’s research and training programs have sought to understand and support faith leaders committed to improving their communities. CRCC continues this work today by studying the lives and work of exemplary people committed to advancing human flourishing across the globe. The following page includes stories of such people, created by CRCC’s researchers and journalist fellows. From the individual stories, CRCC aims to define and establish a field of “spiritual exemplars” and understand how engaged spirituality operates in their lives. This endeavor is supported by the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton Religion Trust.
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Above, Maggie Gorban ministers to children in a slum on the outskirts of Cairo.
- AnnouncementNominate a Spiritual ExemplarDo you know someone who is changing the world? Is their work inspiring but not widely known? The USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture is launching a global project on spiritual …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- FeaturedSpiritual ExemplarsTopics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticlePrivate: Rev. Anand Mathew: A Catholic Priest Takes on Interfaith Fight Against COVID-19 in IndiaThis article was originally published in Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. VARANASI, India — Wearing a lilac tunic with a coarse cotton towel around his neck, …Topics: Asia, Catholics and Catholicism, COVID, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Interfaith/Multifaith Movements, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleRachel Sumekh: The Young Jewish Woman Of Color Leading America’s Effort To End Hunger On College CampusesThis article was originally published in Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. I first met Rachel Sumekh in August 2019 on the ground floor of a glimmering high …Topics: COVID, Engaged Spirituality, Jews and Judaism, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleCaroline Yongue: A Buddhist Lay Minister Asks ‘What Is A Good Death?’This radio documentary was produced by The Spiritual Edge, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Listen to it on The Spiritual Edge’s website. On a sunny October morning in …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleAzza Karam: The Role Of Women In Faith And DiplomacyThis article was originally published in Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. LINDAU— Azza Karam was just about to step up to the podium at the Inselhalle in …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Government and Religion, International Affairs and Policy, Political Attitudes and Values, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleSunita Viswanath: A New Kind of Allyship with Black Lives MatterThis article was originally published in The Juggernaut, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. When restaurant owner Ruhel Islam said “let my building burn” last month in Minneapolis, he instantly …Topics: Community Organizing, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Political Attitudes and Values, Protests and Uprisings, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleSister Mary Scullion: Fighting to End Homelessness in PhiladelphiaThis article was originally published in Global Sisters Report, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. PHILADELPHIA — On a recent late summer afternoon, Mercy Sr. Mary Scullion found herself, as she …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Nuns and Women Religious, Spiritual Exemplars
- 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
- ArticleSarah James: Fighting for What’s Sacred in the Arctic National Wildlife RefugeThis article was originally published in The Spiritual Edge, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. For most of her life, Neets’aii Gwich’in leader Sarah James has worked to protect her homelands, including …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Environment, National and Cultural Identity, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryCelebrating Thich Nhat Hanh’s Influence on his 94th BirthdayThich Nhat Hanh’s 94th birthday—or continuation day—is Oct 11. In honor of the day, Plum Village monastics asked his friends and students to share short reflections on how Thay, as his followers …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars, weforum
- 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
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
email@example.com or 213-743-1611
- 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.
- 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.
- Arpi MillerContributing FellowArpi Miller is a sociologist who studies secular and faith-based immigrant advocacy and accompaniment.