Master of Arts in History
First Committee Member
David Holland, Chair
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
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.
Communities; Community; Judaism – Social aspects; Mormon Church – Social aspects; Nevada – Las Vegas; Religion – Social aspects; West (U.S.)
American Studies | Cultural History | Jewish Studies | Social History | United States History
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Davis, Matthew R., "Saints in Sin City: Religion and community building in twentieth century Las Vegas" (2010). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 870.
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