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Palgrave Macmillan

A History of Charisma

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  • © 2009


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Table of contents (10 chapters)


About this book

This book traces the history of the word 'charisma', and the various meanings assigned to it, from its first century origins in Christian theology to its manifestations in twenty-first century politics and culture, while considering how much of the word's original religious meaning persists in the contemporary secular understanding.


'Potts' contribution provides perspective and context for the teaching of leadership.' -Thomas F. Tumblin, Journal of Religious Leadership

'After reading John Potts's engrossing new book, A History of Charisma, I agree with him unreservedly...Charisma matters a lot, for good and ill, in politics, religion, business, the arts and many other walks of life.' The Australian

...[an] absorbing is brilliantly argued and, though deeply scholarly, fully accessible to the general reader.' Richard King, Australian Literary Review

' takes a skilful author to make such a page-turner based on a 'history of a word'. Potts has succeeded by writing in a lucid and intelligent style...A mystery wrapped up as a work of historical scholarship.' - Transforming Management

...'John Potts' synthesis- clearly written, and helpfully structured with numerous subheadings- leaves us with a much fuller, richer meaning for a concept that serves to provide some refuge from an increasingly rationalised, bureaucratised, disenchanted, as well as celebrity obsessed, world. Its problematic usage is unlikely to decline, and we need all the help we can get to try to understand it.' - Beverley Southgate, Rethinking History

Authors and Affiliations

  • Macquarie University, Australia

    John Potts

About the author

JOHN POTTS is Associate Professor in Media at Macquarie University, Australia. He is author of Radio In Australia, Culture and Technology (co-authored with Andrew Murphie) and Technologies of Magic (co-edited with Edward Scheer).

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