Welcome to the Southwest Institute on Religion, Culture, and Society

Check out our new book: A Shared Future

A Shared Future: New book on faith-based organizing and racial equity, with an overview and ordering information – and a way to invite the authors to speak.

See what the experts have said about A Shared Future:

Mark R. Warren | author of A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform

Wood and Fulton have written a state-of-the-art treatment of the field of faith-based community organizing with a focus on two important developments: local-state-federal organizing and the emergence of a racial equity analysis at the heart of the organizing. 

Ann Swidler | author of Talk of Love: How Culture Matters

“In A Shared Future, Wood and Fulton bring alive the triumphs and dilemmas of contemporary faith-based community organizing. They describe how vibrant networks of community organizations based in churches, unions, schools, and other community groups have won victories at state and national scales as well as in local communities. 

New features:

  • “State of Faith-Based Organizing” page
  • Our active blog and Twitter and RSS feeds
  • You will also find links to current research projects, recent publications, and upcoming public talks. We hope to see you at one of those events soon.


Research and programming at SIRCS has been funded by:

  • The Ford Foundation
  • The Lilly Endowment via the Louisville Institute
  • Interfaith Funders
  • The Unitarian-Universalist Program at Shelter Rock
  • The John Templeton Foundation via USC’s Center on Religion and Civic Culture
  • The federal government’s Department of State and Department of Energy. 

In addition, individual donors provide crucial “flex” funding through which we can launch creative new initiatives. Please consider donating to support our mission: Sustaining a better societal conversation about religious commitment and democratic life.


SIRCS was founded in 2004 to promote research, writing, and accessible public dialogue at the intersection of religion and democracy in the contemporary world.

We examine the underpinnings of democratic life in the culture, institutions, and political relations of society, especially those rooted in faith communities.

SIRCS now provides a home for research projects focused on religion, civil society, and democracy in the United States and Central America.In the recent past, it has also sponsored work on the Arab world, Iran, and the American Southwest border region.

As an interdisciplinary center at the University of New Mexico, we welcome humanities-based, social science-based, and ethical inquiry, and we co-host periodic public events, seminars, and research projects.