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
- ArticleSarah Zouak: Leading a Laboratory of Muslim Feminism in FranceWhen Sarah Zouak was a graduate student in France, an adviser told her that the phrase “Muslim feminist” was a contradiction in terms. Zouak had proposed a thesis on the topic when …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Europe, Gender and Sexuality, Muslims and Islam, Spiritual Exemplars
- MapEnvironmental Justice and Spiritual ExemplarsThis story map is best viewed on the Arcgis website.Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Environment, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryThe Radical Resistance and Radical Acceptance of Spiritual ExemplarsHow spiritual exemplars work to create a world befitting of our inherent nobility A key question we are asked by consumers of our research on “spiritual exemplars” is about the qualities of …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Meditation and Prayer, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- VideoSister Networks Building Hope at the US/Mexico Border
- Video“Stories of Social Change: Spirituality in Action” Exhibit Panel at USC Annenberg
- ArticleParveena Ahanger: A Grieving Mother’s Fight for the Disappeared of KashmirParveena Ahanger, a well-known Kashmiri activist, exuded her characteristic warmth as she sat cross-legged in the kitchen on a freezing January afternoon in Srinagar, the region’s largest city. The warmest corner of …Topics: Asia, Engaged Spirituality, Muslims and Islam, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence, weforum
- CommentaryThe Complex Relationship Between Religion and HumanitarianismThe hero image of religious saints involved in humanitarian work warrants examination. I have come to this conclusion in the process of leading a global project on “spiritual exemplars” at USC’s Center …Topics: Disaster Response, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Religious Leadership, Social Services, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence, weforum
- CommentarySpiritual Exemplars: The Pragmatism and Mystical Perspective of William JamesWilliam James was the inspiration for our project on “spiritual exemplars” at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. James, a philosopher and psychologist, believed that one learns more from what …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- CRCC in the NewsSpotlight shines on spiritually engaged humanitarians in ‘Stories of Social Change’ exhibitThis story was originally published by USC News. After being immersed in the material for five years, Megan Sweas didn’t need a script as she led small groups on tours of the …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Southern California, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleDavid Raimundo dos Santos: Without this Black Catholic Priest, Affirmative Action Wouldn’t Be Alive and Thriving in Brazil.This article was originally published on Black Catholic Messenger, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Sometimes the truth hits so hard that it changes your life forever. For the …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Engaged Spirituality, Latin America, Race and Culture, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
firstname.lastname@example.org 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. MillerCo-FounderDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.
- Arpi MillerArpi Miller is a sociologist who studies secular and faith-based immigrant advocacy and accompaniment.