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Religion News

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…

The 2010-11 cohort of AMCLI fellows. Photo by Sumaya Abubaker.

A New Generation of Civic Leaders

May 26, 2011

By day, Salim Patel works as a financial analyst for a large retail clothing company. After hours, he serves as a commissioner on the Board of Education in Passaic, N.J. He also helps run an emergency food pantry, which he…

Senior Jake Bloch created the documentary "Awe" for his religion honors thesis in USC Dorsife. The film investigates and merges scientific theories and religious pursuits. Photo courtesy of Jake Bloch.

An Awe-Inspiring Film

May 12, 2011

Senior Jake Bloch grew up seeing religion and science mixed together — right on his father’s bookshelf. Books by Alfred North Whitehead sat side by side with those by Albert Einstein, along with Houston Smith…

An enthusiastic USC Student Interfaith Council discusses the Dalai Lama's first visit to USC at a meeting shortly before his appearance on May 3. Photo by Pamela J. Johnson.

The Dalai Lama Inspires USC Dornsife Students

May 4, 2011

After years of reading the enlightening words of His Holiness, Mary Ellen “Jem” Jebbia listened to the powerful words spoken by the Dalai Lama. “It was fantastic,” the USC Dornsife junior said after…

The Dalai Lama speaks at USC for the first time to a sold-out audience at Bovard Auditorium. Photo by Steve Cohn.

A Visit to Cherish

May 4, 2011

Happiness — the basic human goal — depends upon good ethical conduct, regardless of one’s religious beliefs, said the 14th Dalai Lama during his first visit to USC on Tuesday. “An open heart helps us…

Father James Heft, Alton M. Brooks Professor of Religion in USC College, is president and founding director of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies. Photo credit Philip Channing.

Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the Vatican

November 16, 2010

When it comes to the Catholic tradition, the believer must also be the thinker. "If you're going to be a believer, no one should ever suggest that you check your brain in at the entrance of the church," said Fr. James Heft,…

Professor Ikuyo Matsumoto from Yokohama City University presents at the workshop. Photo credit Lori Meeks.

USC College Kambun Workshop Draws Grad Students Nationwide

October 20, 2010

The USC Summer Kambun Workshop sponsored by USC College welcomed graduate students from many of the nation’s top universities to study Sino-Japanese texts with prominent Japanese scholars. The August event is an annual…

Bruce Zuckerman, professor of religion and linguistics, with Dead Sea Scrolls fragments at St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Teaneck, N.J. Photo credit Kenneth Zuckerman.

Let There Be Light

June 24, 2010

We all know what New Jersey is famous for. The birthplace of Ol' Blue Eyes? Where Thomas Edison invented the light bulb? Heaven help us, Jersey Shore? Fuggedaboutit! The Garden State is home to one of the greatest…

Alumnus Douglas Ayres. Photo courtesy of D. Ayres.

Redemptive Suffering

April 26, 2010

On the morning of February 20, 2006, I received a call from my father at 8 a.m. It was a holiday, President’s Day. My father could not speak. He sounded in shock. And he was only able to stutter a few words and my name…