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Antichrist as (Anti)Charisma: Reflections on Weber and the ‘Son of Perdition’
Department of History, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB# 3193, Chapel Hill, NC, 27707, USA
Received: 20 December 2012; in revised form: 25 January 2013 / Accepted: 29 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Abstract: The figure of Antichrist, linked in recent US apocalyptic thought to President Barack Obama, forms a central component of Christian end-times scenarios, both medieval and modern. Envisioned as a false-messiah, deceptive miracle-worker, and prophet of evil, Antichrist inversely embodies many of the qualities and characteristics associated with Max Weber’s concept of charisma. This essay explores early Christian, medieval, and contemporary depictions of Antichrist and the imagined political circumstances of his reign as manifesting the notion of (anti)charisma, compelling but misleading charismatic political and religious leadership oriented toward damnation rather than redemption.
Keywords: apocalypticism; charisma; Weber; antichrist; Bible; US presidency
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Whalen, B.E. Antichrist as (Anti)Charisma: Reflections on Weber and the ‘Son of Perdition’. Religions 2013, 4, 77-95.
Whalen BE. Antichrist as (Anti)Charisma: Reflections on Weber and the ‘Son of Perdition’. Religions. 2013; 4(1):77-95.
Whalen, Brett E. 2013. "Antichrist as (Anti)Charisma: Reflections on Weber and the ‘Son of Perdition’." Religions 4, no. 1: 77-95.