San Francisco is one of the most diverse cities in the United States due to a continual flow of migrants from all parts of the globe. This course explores the diverse religious practices of migrant groups in San Francisco, reflected in mosques, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and churches with services offered in Spanish, Tagalog, Russian, and many other languages. Throughout the semester we will study religions such as Santeria and vodou (vodun, voodoo), that have their roots in Afro and Afro-Caribbean religions as well as Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist groups and practitioners from countries such as China, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, El Salvador, Iran, and Yemen.
Lois Ann Lorentzen is Co-Director of the Center for Latino Studies in the Americas (CELASA) and a Professor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department. Her research takes her to Mexico, El Salvador, and Spain. She is passionate about San Francisco and its wonderful diversity. She has conducted extensive research on the importance of religion for new migrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.