I wish to thank each of the religious leaders I interviewed for their time and willingness to share stories and experiences, John Bauer for his suggestions regarding religious grouping, and Rexine and Dennis Rowley for a place to stay while conducting my research. I would also like to thank James Shortridge, Terry Slocum, Garth Myers, Steve Egbert, William Tsutsui, Rachel Rowley, the anonymous reviewers, and Craig Colten for their comments and helpful suggestions on earlier drafts of this work.
RELIGION IN SIN CITY*
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2012
© 2012 by the American Geographical Society of New York
Volume 102, Issue 1, pages 76–92, January 2012
How to Cite
ROWLEY, R. J. (2012), RELIGION IN SIN CITY. Geographical Review, 102: 76–92. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2012.00131.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2012
- institutional religion;
- Las Vegas;
- sense of place
Religion is an important, yet overlooked, aspect of local life in Las Vegas, Nevada. Many residents attend worship services and practice faith in an environment that often promotes the opposite of their religious beliefs. Using qualitative data from interviews with clergy across the spectrum of faith traditions, I analyze the adaptation of institutional religion to local circumstances in order to understand how religious belief reflects local sense of place. In a city bifurcated into tourist and local parts, such analysis provides a glimpse into the insider/outsider place dichotomy of long interest to geographers. It further illuminates how religion and place interact. Religious believers, in Las Vegas and elsewhere, often negotiate between their spiritual beliefs and their surrounding cultural environment.