Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Max Weber's theory of charisma and the Catholic charismatic renewal: An examination of fit leading to a proposed complimentariness with Mircea Eliade's phenomenology of religion
by Fricano, Guy, Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2009, 272; 3369450
Abstract (Summary)

This study employs a multi-disciplinary approach to examine Max Weber's construct of Charisma through its application to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, a globalized Pentecostal religious movement in the Roman Catholic Church. An ethnographic component consisted of over six years of ethnographic fieldwork in the Chicago metropolitan area. A synthesis of social science research and Catholic Church documents defining the parameters of the movement's legitimacy are featured in an historical component of the study. A person-centered component featured in-depth analyses of ten individuals from a Chicago prayer group to explore the personal meanings and experiences involved with charismatic phenomena (deemed manifestations of divine authority). While this multi-disciplinary approach supported Weber's major conclusions, it also revealed a peculiar finding beyond the confines of Weber's theory: that within "official" worship settings the perceived relationship between the self and the charismatic "gift" was described as ego-dystonic, in other places described as ego-syntonic, and that these informants claimed to be unaware of the discrepancies between these experiential moments. This suggests that further refinement of Weber's theory should account for the significance of place in the reckoning of charisma. It is further shown that the data can be reconciled by linking Weber's construct of charisma to Mircea Eliade's construct of the hierophany, and other findings on the peculiar phenomenological aspects of sacred space as opposed to profane space. The connection between charisma and hierophany is supported through comparisons of data from each methodological approach. The prospect of complementariness between these theories of Weber and Eliade, and evidence in its support, are novel contributions to both bodies of literature.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Luhrmann, Tanya, Cohler, Bertram
Commitee: Lucy, John, Zonis, Marvin
School: The University of Chicago
Department: Psychology: Human Development
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Cultural anthropology, Developmental psychology, Sociology
Keywords: Catholic, Charisma, Eliade, Mircea, Pentecostal, Sacred space, Weber, Max
Publication Number: 3369450
ISBN: 978-1-109-31560-8
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