My initial question when I started my thesis was: “Why did churches start to look like
spaceships after WWII?” That question was of course too broad, so it was trimmed down to: “What
could a modern architect and an evangelical minister have to say to each other?” The dialogue
between Christianity and modern architecture became the focus for my thesis on the Drive-in Church
designed in Orange County, California, by Richard Neutra for Robert Schuller in 1960.
I began as a religion major at Reed and decided to become an American Studies major because
of my interest in popular culture and post-war history. Religious studies was a way for me to
approach the theological and ritual-based part of my topic. American Studies offered more tools
for my interest in the medium of architecture and the points where secular culture bridged into
sacred culture. American Studies has for a long time recognized material culture as a valid and
important resource for historians, and it is this part of the American Studies tradition that
I feel most connected to. As I go off to Harvard Divinity this year, I hope to pursue new aspects
of the American Studies discipline, including the ways in which early Puritan and evangelical
movements shaped the culture of the United Studies.
—Dana Wiggins Logan ’07, The greatest churches have yet to
be organized: architecture and religion at the Drive-in Church (American Studies, history and religion)