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The History of a Word

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A History of Charisma
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Abstract

This book is a history of the word ‘charisma’, and the meanings associated with that word, over a duration spanning the first century AD to the twenty-first. In a severely brief outline, this history is as follows: the term ‘charisma’ emerged in the early Christian church of the first century; charisma was eclipsed as a religious concept within the church by the end of the third century; it lay submerged for many centuries, with intermittent appearances; charisma was reinvented in Max Weber’s sociology in the early twentieth century; the word is widely used in contemporary Western culture, in media, academic scholarship and popular discourse. My analysis of the history of this term — its invention, eclipse, reappearance and transformation — explores its shifting cultural role over two millennia.

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© 2009 John Potts

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Potts, J. (2009). The History of a Word. In: A History of Charisma. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230244832_1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230244832_1

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-349-36242-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-0-230-24483-2

  • eBook Packages: Palgrave History CollectionHistory (R0)

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