Finding Meaning in a Modern World: Religious Affirmation or Existential Acceptance?

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Religious Studies (MARS)


Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies

First Advisor

June-Ann Greeley


"I propose that Salinger's dominant, consistent themes of conformity, alienation, childhood innocence, the corruption of American materialism, and Buddhism as the path to spiritual awareness should be considered together, as independent factors, to develop a comprehensive interpretation of Salinger's overall message and worldview. I intend to establish, by means of textual and critical evidence, that Salinger's works demonstrate his own personal frustration with finding an answer to his own existential dilemma of finding a balance between spiritual fulfillment and worldly reality - the sacred and the profane."


Master's thesis submitted to the faculty of Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Religious Studies.