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The gift creates the Steven and Kathryn Sample Endowment for Ecumenism. The Samples are pictured here with Father James Heft of USC Dornsife. Photo by Steve Cohn.

Catholic Studies Institute Receives $1 Million

May 21, 2013

An anonymous donor has given $1 million to the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies (IACS) housed in USC Dornsife to foster greater understanding, cooperation and unity among Christian denominations and churches. The gift…

Adorned with sandalwood paste and roses, this white marble statue of a Jain Tirthankara, or Jina, an enlightened being who teaches Jainism, is from a temple in Bikaner, Rajasthan, Northwest India. Photo courtesy of James McHugh.

Sense and Sensuality

April 9, 2013

Uproar, Moon Juice, Outrage and Who’s He? Despite their deceptively avant-garde names, these are in fact medieval Indian perfumes, created and titled almost a thousand years ago at a time when the sense of smell played a…

The Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray of USC Dornsife (left) was recently honored for his work in the community in an event at Doheny Memorial Library hosted by USC President C. L. Max Nikias. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Tested By Fire

October 18, 2012

The Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray’s first trial by fire happened in the early 1950s. Then a young U.S. Air Force navigator, Murray was in a warplane when it erupted in flames on the tarmac. The pilot escaped the…

The Middle East: Choose Your Lens

The Middle East: Choose Your Lens

April 25, 2012

The Middle East cuts a wide swath: it contains a number of countries, a multitude of languages, cultures and customs, and thousands of years of history. Interests and conflicts resonate on a global scale, such as the…

Introduction to Islam: Professor Sherman Jackson

Sherman Jackson Named among the World's 500 Most Influential Muslims

April 2, 2012

Sherman Jackson, King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture, and professor of religion and American studies and ethnicity in USC Dornsife, has been named for the second time among the world’s 500 most influential…

Duncan Ryûken Williams is the new director of the USC School of Religion, and the founder and co-director of the newly created USC Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

Enlightening the West

November 16, 2011

Born in Tokyo to a Japanese Buddhist mother and a British Christian father, Duncan Ryûken Williams believes it is his destiny to serve as a bridge between the religions and cultures of his upbringing. “I’ve…

Daniel Walker speaks at the recent Passing the Mantle  Institute gathering for African American clergy and lay leaders at USC. Photo by Malllory Carra.

Keeping the Black Church of Los Angeles Alive

August 25, 2011

From the influence of President Barack Obama to the recession and housing crisis, the needs and realities of the African American community in Los Angeles have changed — and Daniel Walker believes that the Black Church…

Donald Miller has observed Pentecostal and charismatic services around the globe. In May 2011, he visited indigenous Pentecostal churches in Quito, Ecuador, where he captured footage of prayer, worship and dance. View the video below or on <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbMBzf7v3WQ" target="blank">YouTube</a>.

Understanding Pentecostalism’s Global Impact

July 15, 2011

Pentecostalism — a religious movement that began in a warehouse on Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906 — has emerged as a fast-growing minority religion in the developing world, gaining popularity in the Southern…

Mark Ridley-Thomas (Ph.D., religion, '89) is a Los Angeles County Supervisor, 2nd District. Photo by Carlos Puma.

Pillar of Empowerment

June 23, 2011

In 1968, Mark Ridley-Thomas was a seventh grader at George Washington Carver Middle School in southeast Los Angeles. At Victory Baptist Church near his school campus, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. often preached and…

From left to right: Chris Hammons, lecturer in anthropology; Lisa Bitel, professor of history and religion, and chair of the CRCC Interdisciplinary Research Group; Jane Iwamura, assistant professor of religion and American studies and ethnicity; and Brad Nabors, Ph.D. candidate in sociology. Photo by Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody.

Getting Religion

May 31, 2011

Not long after Indonesia’s transition from dictatorship to democracy, Christian Hammons was sitting at a coffee shop in Bukittinggi, a city on Sumatra’s tourist circuit. Hammons, who was about to begin his doctoral…