Research and Resources


The Center for the Study and Practice of Urban Religion (C-SPUR), formerly the Ecologies of Learning Project (EOL), has fostered scholarship on the mutual impact of religion and urban change, especially in Metro New York. We focus on how congregations interact with social forces related to globalization transforming City life. Research associates have produced and edited the forthcoming volume, Ecologies of Faith: The Evolution of Religious Institutions in New York, and Religious Communities and Global Cities: A Tribute to Lowell W. Livezey, ed. Lois Gehr Livezey, (Vol. Winter, Cross Currents, 2008) in addition to other journal publications.How does religion impact the city? How does the city impact religion?

We research these questions by studying faith- based organizations and neighborhoods throughout the metropolitan area, and collaborate with our research subjects using interviews, observations, discussion groups, surveys, and other tools. More than 300 students have studied congregations and religious institutions since EOL’s inception.
Dr. Courtney Bender, (Associate Professor, Columbia University Department of Religion) contends that

“C-SPUR is making a unique and important contribution to our understanding of urban sociology and urban religions. They are focusing on congregations and local communities to help social scientists, as well as theologians and ministers, better understand how religious institutions influence local and global social landscapes.”

C-SPUR encourages scholars interested in conducting research in all aspects of urban life to contact the Center.


C-SPUR shares its resources from various collaborative projects:

  • Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • Urban Bibliographies:
    • Books
    • Articles
    • Journals
    • Websites

We will add new resources as they become available.

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