Changing Religious Landscapes in Los Angeles

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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1) Identify the various reasons why Los Angeles is a perfect laboratory to examine religious-based landscape change.

There are various reasons why Los Angeles is a perfect place for investigating religious-based landscape change. Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the United States. Being located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, immigrants are moving into Los Angeles from many different places including Mexico and other countries overseas in Asia. Everyday, immigrants are constantly looking for opportunity in many different forms since Los Angeles is an economically stable city. The majority of California, being on the Pacific coast, has also had an earlier dose of Asian religions more so than a comparable large city as New York City. Since cities on the California coast have had more experiences with Asian cultures, it is much easier to become accustomed to the needs of Asians and their religious beliefs.

By having numerous diverse ethnic groups in different parts of Los Angeles, it makes it easy to have abundant types of religions to study. The presence of Hollywood is also a major attraction that brings many diverse people into the Los Angeles area. Immigrants from Asia and Mexico perceive Hollywood as a major culture symbol of the United States making them latch on to the city so they can experience the feeling of Americanization.

2) How are religious structures being adapted and reused? The concept of structural adaptation is very familiar to Los Angeles because it requires very little effort to modify different structures into places of worship. Some modifications that are vital are changing the symbols of the church. The Star of David might have to be taken down and replaced with a crucifix. For instance, such buildings as homes and shopping malls can be transformed into...