Award Date

8-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History

Department

History

First Committee Member

David Holland, Chair

Second Committee Member

Eugene Moehring

Third Committee Member

Elspeth Whitney

Graduate Faculty Representative

Ted Jelen

Number of Pages

96

Abstract

Due to an absence of social and religious tradition, Las Vegas provided the perfect setting for Jewish and Mormon faiths to create communities closely linked to their own spiritual doctrine. This thesis traces the evolution of these groups from the turn of the twentieth-century to the present, focusing on issues such as education, geographic location, and business acumen as avenues for personal and spiritual growth. This thesis also considers the relatively small number of religious studies conducted in the American West, and serves as a possible example for future study by using an urban religious framework to synthesize the dearth of western religious information. To be sure, the mythical nature of Las Vegas as “Sin City” colors the spiritual lives of its citizens like no other city in America. Hopefully, this thesis begins to shed light on the vibrant religious culture springing from the area.

Keywords

Communities; Community; Judaism – Social aspects; Mormon Church – Social aspects; Nevada – Las Vegas; Religion – Social aspects; West (U.S.)

Disciplines

American Studies | Cultural History | Jewish Studies | Social History | United States History

Language

English


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