Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Wayne Koestenbaum

Committee Members

Marc Dolan

Gerhard Joseph

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


Using alternative religion and other dynamics within the spiritual life of Los Angeles opens up the city's literary canon; employing religion as a critical lens illuminates the conjunction of history, literature, and urban growth that characterizes Los Angeles culture. This is especially relevant in a setting where, according to a 1941 guide to the city, "the multiplicity and diversity of faiths that flourish in the aptly named City of Angels probably cannot be duplicated in any other city on earth." It is apparent, however, that the specific social phenomena of abundant sects in this urban space can provide keys to understanding the region's culture. While religion plays a part in the history of Los Angeles from the city's inception, its role becomes more complex, fragmentary, and pervasive in the twentieth century as the city undergoes rapid development. This project examines the role alternative religion plays in Los Angeles literature written between 1910 and 1960 and provides an overview of the spiritual culture of the city.


Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.