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Record Type: Review   ID: 865


Lindholm, Charles

 The encounter with a charismatic person can be an EHE. It also can be very harmful. Here is what Lindholm writes of his approach in this book: "My purpose in this survey is not only to write an essay on the history of ideas, but also something more pragmatic; that is, the extraction of a model of the emotions that can both provide us with a rudimentary paradigm for hierarchizing basic human needs, and allow us to conceptualize the complex historical, social and psychological aspects of the extraordinary experience of selflessness and transcendence that we mean when we say "charisma." Having formulated a way of thinking about the charismatic experience, the next section uses cases to test how well this model works. As my ethnographic illustrations I have chosen some of the most excessive instances of charisma in the modern era and contrasted them with each other, and with the simplest forms of charismatic revelation in small-scale societies. The movements which coalesced around Charles Manson, Jim Jones and Adolf Hitler will be placed against the examples of charisma offered by shamanism and the group trance of the !Kung Bushmen. By analyzing this varied material and by using first-person accounts, I will try to discover the inner dynamic that binds the leaders and the group, and the way this interaction is constructed by the social context."
Publisher Information:Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1990. 238p. Bibl: 216-228; Chap. notes: 190-215; Index: 229-238
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