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Charisma, Diversity, and Religion in the American City— A Reflection
AbstractThe faith leaders of North American cities actively engage in the civic affairs of their urban communities. Religious leadership, charismatic preaching, and, possibly, reputation of prophetic powers, continue to play important roles especially in the African American civic leaders’ rise to public authority. The article reflects on the twenty-first-century significance of Max Weber’s concept of “charisma” in interpreting the civic involvement of urban religious leaders in one city in particular, Baltimore. The article suggests that within the context of Baltimore’s dramatic challenges associated with urban poverty, violence, and racial and socio-economic health disparities, charismatic religious leadership continues as a recognized form of communal authority especially among the city’s African Americans. The article suggests that the gender dynamics of contemporary charismatic leadership appears strikingly similar to another time period and place, also analyzed by Weber—namely, medieval Europe. Just as an intense personal faith granted some medieval religious women authority and position they would not have had in the institutions reserved for men, so too the religious leadership and personal experiences of faith support the urban advocacy of African American women leaders.
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Lehmijoki-Gardner, M. Charisma, Diversity, and Religion in the American City— A Reflection. Religions 2014, 5, 435-443.View more citation formats
Lehmijoki-Gardner M. Charisma, Diversity, and Religion in the American City— A Reflection. Religions. 2014; 5(2):435-443.Chicago/Turabian Style
Lehmijoki-Gardner, Maiju. 2014. "Charisma, Diversity, and Religion in the American City— A Reflection." Religions 5, no. 2: 435-443.