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
- ArticleSonia Tinoco García: Responding to Muslim Asylum Seekers at the US-Mexico BorderThis article was originally published on New Lines Magazine, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. It’s late afternoon in Tijuana, and the air is hot and thick. Hamza — …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Immigration, Muslims and Islam, Southern California, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleMarguerite Brankitse: Forgiveness Is Key to Overcoming GenocideThis article was originally published on National Catholic Reporter, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. This year marks 30 years since violence exploded between Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Engaged Spirituality, Genocide, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars, Sub-Saharan Africa
- ArticleAndreas Kornevall: Swedish Ecologist Revives Old Norse Myths and Rituals to Tackle Environmental CrisesThis article was originally published on Religion Unplugged with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. BRIGHTON, England — According to Norse mythology, the world is an immense tree. Known as Yggdrasil, this …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Environment, Religious Beliefs and Rituals, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleMai Nguyen: A Grain Farmer Applies Buddhist Principles to Preserve the Land — and Maximize TasteThis article was originally published on Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. The first time Mai Nguyen tried bread made with hard Red Fife wheat, it …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Race and Culture, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryDonald E. Miller: ‘Spiritual exemplars’ change the media narrative about religionThis article was originally published on Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Media stories about religion often focus on corruption in religious institutions, politicians’ alliances with conservative Christians and …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Media, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- ToolsSpiritual Exemplar Life Story Interview GuideThe following interview guide may be useful to journalists and researchers interested in collecting and telling stories of humanitarianism and/or the role of spirituality in people’s lives and work. The USC Center …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars, Tools
- ReportEngaged Spirituality: 100 Stories of Inspiration and ResilienceAround the world, humanitarians care for AIDS orphans, fight oil companies in the arctic, perform surgery in the middle of wars, save migrants from certain death in the desert or the sea, …Topics: Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- VideoLayli Miller Muro: Protecting the Rights of Migrants
- ArticleHuda Abu Arqoub: Building the Land Her Grandfather KnewPeacebuilder Huda Abu Arqoub has a spiritual vision for Israel/Palestine rooted in the past. A truly holy land, she says, is one in which all can live together. When Huda Abu Arqoub …Topics: Education, Engaged Spirituality, Middle East and North Africa, Muslims and Islam, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
- CommentaryHolistic Resilience: Why Some Spiritual Exemplars Question Suffering as a Path to ResilienceWhen CRCC’s “Spiritual Exemplars Project” team was invited to present about “resilience,” it was easy to think of many examples within our sample of 100+ spiritually engaged humanitarians who had endured and …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Economic Inequality, Engaged Spirituality, Immigration, Jews and Judaism, 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. 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.