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Pulling the Devil's Kingdom DownThe Salvation Army in Victorian Britain$
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Pamela Walker

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520225916

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520225916.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Pulling the Devil's Kingdom Down

Pamela J. Walker

University of California Press

The Salvation Army, founded by William and Catherine Booth, began as the East London Christian Mission in 1865. The Booths, along with a small group of associates, preached in the streets of the East End and in rented halls. In 1878, its mission stations were found not only in London but along the south coast, in the Midlands, and in the north, with 127 paid evangelists and 700 voluntary workers. That same year, it adopted the name Salvation Army. Its distinctive uniforms, ranks, and military vocabulary; its tracts, called Hallelujah Torpedoes; and its prayer services, known as knee drill, followed. Salvationists became stock figures of fun in music halls, popular theater, and comic magazines. These battles are critical to an understanding of working-class religiosity and culture more broadly. A second approach to Victorian religion proceeded from the influential work of social historians E. P. Thompson and E. J. Hobsbawm.

Keywords:   William Booth, Catherine Booth, East London, Christian Mission, Salvation Army, Hallelujah Torpedoes, religiosity, culture, E. P. Thompson, E. J. Hobsbawm

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