Charismatic Leadership in Millennial Movements

Lorne L. Dawson

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Charismatic Leadership in Millennial Movements

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  • Religion
  • Religious Studies
  • Philosophy of Religion



This article deals with aspects of charismatic leadership, one of the core elements of any mass-based movement. A Weberian concept of charisma informs the deliberations of this study. Various objective measures help construct and maintain charismatic leadership. A possible crisis preceding the rise of the leader compiles the initial groundwork. The constitution of the movement allots a central role to the leader while routing the consciousness of the members towards the group, making it an endogamous affair. Internal fabrications of the system constantly lend acceptance to this milieu. The members' initiation into a new identity at the hands of the leader further boosts cult worship. Acknowledgement from established quarters of other relevant fields is constantly sought for greater validation. A stark awareness of the constant need to validate constantly informs the deliberations of a charismatic leader. Voluntary isolation further boosts the intrigue factor of the leader.

Keywords: millennial movements; Weberian concept; validate charismatic leadership; milieu; internal fabrications

Article.  9677 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Philosophy of Religion

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