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The “Sticky Sediment” of Daily Life: Radical Domesticity, Revolutionary Christianity, and the Problem of Wealth in Britain from the 1880s to the 1930s

Seth Koven
Representations
Vol. 120, No. 1 (Fall 2012), pp. 39-82
DOI: 10.1525/rep.2012.120.1.39
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/rep.2012.120.1.39
Page Count: 44
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The “Sticky Sediment” of Daily Life: Radical Domesticity, Revolutionary Christianity, and the Problem of Wealth in Britain from the 1880s to the 1930s
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Abstract

This essay examines an early twentieth-century Christian revolutionary habitus—a “technique of Christian living”—based on the conviction that everyday life was an essential site for reconciling the claims of individual and community, the material and the spiritual. The pacifist-feminist members of London’s first “people’s house,” Kingsley Hall, linked their vision of Jesus’s inclusive and unbounded love for humanity to their belief in the ethical imperative that all people take full moral responsibility for cleaning up their own dirt as part of their utopian program to bring social, economic, and political justice to the outcast in London, Britain, and its empire. In imagining what a reconstructed post-World War I Britain might become, Kingsley Hall’s cross-class band of workers used mundane practices to unmake and remake the late-Victorian and Edwardian philanthropic legacy they inherited.

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