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The Cognitive Approach To Charisma

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with an introduction to the basic tenets of the cognitive approach to religion before proceeding to examine the cognitive approach to charisma. By critically examining some of the previous theories and conceptualisations of charisma, the chapter shows how the cognitive approach can help to improve on the previous attempts to explain the phenomenon of charismatic leadership. Then, the chapter demonstrates how the cognitive approach will be able to enrich and strenghten our overall theoretical grasp of the phenomenon of charisma on both psychological and sociological levels. Max Weber approaches the phenomenon of charisma from a slightly different point of view, namely, from that of power, domination and authority. The chapter introduces each conceptualisation in turn. Towards the end of this chapter the cognitive approach to both religious social categorisation and the dynamics of religious systems is explored in more depth.

Keywords:charismatic leadership; Max Weber; religious powers; social crisis



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