Ethical narratives, street kitchens and doing religious difference amongst post-migrant communities in contemporary Britain

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Street kitchens organised by religious groups in response to food poverty and homelessness have become a ubiquitous feature of British cities. Although a good deal of literature has explored this genre of social action, relatively little has analysed it as a feature of religious practice associated with post-migrant communities. This paper uses data drawn from ethnographic research on Sikh and Muslim street kitchens in two British cities to consider the significance of such initiatives amongst Britain’s South Asian communities. The paper focuses on the role of narrative in this context, deploying Ingold’s notion of ‘storied knowledge’ to analyse fluid, emergent ethical practices expressed through religion-related stories. These practices, envisaged here as ‘religioning’, draw on South Asian religious traditions creatively reconfigured in the postcolonial city. I argue that such developments constitute a significant diasporic intervention into settled accounts of ‘faith’ as a vehicle for ethical citizenship in British urban environments.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 26
Number of pages26
JournalCulture and religion
Early online date5 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019