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A hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca is having a heyday in the United States. Does America have a special God-given role in the world? In meetings with both evangelical and religiously unaffiliated young adults in Los Angeles, I have seen a shift in the understanding of ….

This piece originally appeared on Nieman Reports. This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

Hollywood Congregational Church was in trouble. Its congregation had become too small to sustain the decaying Los Feliz building that had ….

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Sociologist Katie Day draws from her findings of a seven year study to argue that these religious communities are active agents in their local urban contexts, both shaping and being shaped by it. Far from being a benign presence, these congregations are engaging, and contributing to, the urban ecology in myriad ways and to varying degrees.

Their agency, analyzed by this study, is captured in vivid images by photographer Edd Conboy. Through both quantitative and ethnographic research, Day analyzes the religious presence of historic churches, small independent Latino and African American congregations, mosques, mega churches and syncretized religious groups within the urban context with a critical clarity, insight and appreciation.

For over years, communities of faith along Germantown Avenue have provided spatial and cultural anchors to their neighborhoods, formal and informal human services, subtle contributions to safety and quality of life, bases of social boundary transcendence, and acted as vehicles for establishing identity for new arrivals to the city. This book can change the way faith communities in urban areas are seen by policy makers, students and researchers of cities, and religious institutions themselves.

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Keywords: urban religion , urban ecology , social agency , storefront churches , African American religion , Philadelphia religious history. Forgot password?

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Religion and Wellbeing

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