Performing Personalist Hospitality

Rebecca Anne Allahyari

in Visions of Charity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780520221444
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935327 | DOI:
Performing Personalist Hospitality

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This chapter focuses on the historical roots of Catholic Worker personalist hospitality and Salvationism. The moral rhetoric of charitable action at Loaves & Fishes emphasized respect for the poor through giving. The organizational structure maximizes the labor of diverse church-based volunteer groups to feed the city's hungry. The working arrangements of charitable action at Loaves & Fishes mediated between the radical Christian philosophy of the Catholic Workers and the organizational demands to recruit and manage a large volunteer workforce to provide for the daily needs of the urban poor. It shows that Protestants and Catholics brought different formulations of charity into play in the politics of welfare. It traces the working arrangements of visions of charity through organizational publications, interviews with staff, and participant-observation. It carries the essay of the prolific Maurin, a French peasant and Christian agitator, which spread the four tenets of the Catholic Worker philosophy, works of mercy, personalism, hospitality, and social justice.

Keywords: Catholic Worker; hospitality; Salvationism; Loaves & Fishes; charity

Chapter.  12980 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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