Traditional Protestant religious practice is on the wane in the United States of America. For various reasons, many of the institutions that formed centuries or even millennia ago are no longer fulfilling the yearnings of the current generation of seekers. Still, the news of religion’s imminent demise is premature. A search for self-transcendence, both through a commitment to some form of practice associated with the examined life and within a community of likeminded practitioners, has not withered away. This study of the diverse congregations in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz yields a complex—and dynamic—picture of the potential future of American religion.
Mapping the New Landscape of Religion: Block-by-block in a changing Los Angeles neighborhood
Richard Flory is director of research in the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California and the principal investigator for the Religious Competition and Creative Innovation project, examining links between religious competition and innovation in Los Angeles and Seoul, South Korea.
Nalika Gajaweera is an anthropologist and research associate with the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, investigating religious innovation and creativity in Southern California with a focus on mindfulness and American Buddhism.
Andrew Johnson is a research associate with the Center for Religion and Civic Culture’s Religious Competition and Creative Innovation initiative at the University of Southern California. He is currently working on a book and documentary about Pentecostalism in a prison in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Nick Street is a senior writer at the University of Southern California’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture. His writings on religion, science, sexuality, media, and culture have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Los AngelesTimes, the Jewish Journal, and Patheos, among other publications.
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Richard Flory, Nalika Gajaweera, Andrew Johnson, Nick Street; Mapping the New Landscape of Religion: Block-by-block in a changing Los Angeles neighborhood. Boom 1 December 2015; 5 (4): 34–43. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2015.5.4.34
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