Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Christopher White - Chair

Second Advisor

Timothy Renick

Third Advisor

Louis Ruprecht, Jr.


In light of claims that liberalism has led to a breakdown in society, this paper refutes these claims by examining how workplace spirituality at Starbucks Coffee impacts the identities of several employees. While others have examined workplace spirituality as a management technique, this study illustrates how it could be understood as a distinctly modern way of being religious. By linking the ethnography to recent religious trends, this study illustrates how employees are cultivating a spirituality of an inner self. Specifically, these employees accomplish three things. First, they claim to discover their true authentic self. Also, despite the alienation of modern life, workplace spirituality helps employees establish new forms of community. Third, they rework traditional notions of authority in the workplace in ways that strengthen a connection with their inner selves. Finally, the author briefly explores the broader ethical and religious implications that arise from understanding the dynamics of workplace spirituality.


Included in

Religion Commons