Full Text

Charisma

Stephen Hunt


Subject Sociology » Sociology of Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Extract

The term “charisma” is one of the most enduring conceptions in the annals of sociology. Its origin, meaning “gift,” as derived from the Greek, is close to Max Weber's understanding of the term which has subsequently passed into common vocabularies. The notion of charisma can be seen as one of Weber's core typologies, one related to the underlying basis of authority. Weber, in such works as The Religion of China (1951), speaks of charismatic leadership not only in terms of group cohesion but also in terms of education (pp. 30, 190), virtue of dynasty (pp. 198f., 119f., 135) – the belief in the transfer of extraordinary endowments of religious, political, or military descendants – and as hereditary (pp. 140, 141, 164). Weber also uses the term “gentile charisma” with reference to such families (pp. 35, 167, 264). In a sociological sense, charisma refers to the qualities of those who possess, or are believed to possess, powers of leadership either as a virtue of exceptional personality or derived from some unusual inspiration such as a magical, divine, or diabolical source, powers not possessed by the ordinary person ( Weber 1947 ). Since Weber's notion of charisma is closely related to the sacred, it has parallels in Durkheim's mana – a dynamic which may be socially disruptive and seems to be inherent in certain objects or persons in tribal societies, as evidenced in the orenda ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top