Non-Californians rarely refer to the Golden State as a sacred place or religious landscape. Yet, California fascinates, in part, due to its religious extravagance–think Jim Jones, Heavens Gate, the Crystal Cathedral, Harold Camping’s predicted end of the world, the Grateful Dead. Everything is here, and then some. This essay looks at California as an epicenter of religious expression and a global microcosm for hybrid religions, new religions, and experimental religious practices. The essay analyzes migration, the California/Mexico border, genders/sexualities, race/ethnicity, commercialization, embodiment/disembodiment, and the natural world as lenses on California’s religious landscape.
Golden State of Grace?: A lifetime scholar of religion surveys California spirituality
Lois Ann Lorentzen is professor of social ethics in the theology and religious studies department and co-director of the Center for Latin Studies in the Americas at the University of San Francisco. She is the editor of Hidden Lives and Human Rights in the United States: Understanding the Controversies and Tragedies of Undocumented Immigration.
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Lois Ann Lorentzen; Golden State of Grace?: A lifetime scholar of religion surveys California spirituality. Boom 1 December 2015; 5 (4): 20–33. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2015.5.4.20
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