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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Spirituality in Leadership: Rudolf Otto's Numen as the Object of Charisma

There is a transcendent quality to charisma which eludes those scholars, but can be incorporated in terms of Rudolf Otto's (1957) Idea of the Holy. In his inquiry into the non-rational factor in the idea of the holy(the numen), Rudolf Otto (1957) characterizes several inter-related feeling-responses to its object, the numen.  In basing these responses on the object of the holy rather than in the perceiver, Otto distinguishes these feeling responses from mere psychological and sociological occurrences, based in the subjective experience of the person rather than in the object itself.  There is thus posited to be a non-rational quality to the holy transcending self and society yet applicable to the human realm.  Charisma, too, has such a dimension, as evidenced by a residual of religiosity language even amid the modern behavioral studies which tend to assume that charisma is strictly a function of the follower's perception.

The full essay is at "Charismatic Leadership."