The Charismatic Principle in Social Life: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Charismatic Principle in Social Life

1st Edition

Edited by Luigino Bruni, Barbara Sena


176 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Max Weber laid the foundations for the meaning of ‘charisma’ in modern secular usage. This new volume argues for the importance of the ‘charismatic principle’ in history, economics and society.

This volume brings together a number of contributors at the cross section between economics, theology, sociology and politics in order to set a research agenda for the following issues:

  • What does it means to have a ‘charism’? How does it work in society? How might one distinguish a ‘charism’ from a talent? Are ‘charism’s given only to "special" people, or are they also present in ordinary people? Is a ‘charism’ necessarily associated with religion, or, is it, as we submit, possible to imagine ‘charisms’ at work within a secular perspective?
  • Which are the principle perspectives of the role of ‘charisms’ in social history? How have the ‘charisms’ of noted personalities (e.g., Benedict, Francis, Gandhi) changed economic and social history?
  • What insights might be drawn from ‘civil charisms’ such as the cooperative movement, non-profit organizations, social economy, and values-based organizations?

This book seeks to answer these questions through the employment of an interdisciplinary perspective, which examines the theme of the charismatic principle in social life in different fields of application.

Table of Contents

Foreward: The Role of Charisma in Social Life Luigino Bruni and Barbara Sena 1. Economy of Life: Charismatic Dynamics and Relational Goods Adrian Pabst 2. The Role of Charisma, Ethics and Machiavellianism in Economic and Civil Life Tamás Kovács 3. The Charismatic Principle in an American and Democratic Context David J. O'Brien 4. Dr. Martin Luther King and the American Civil Rights Movement: Charismatic and Institutional Perspectives Ian Weinstein 5. Charism and Institution: An Organizational Theory Case Study of the Economy of Communion Jeanne Buckeye and John Gallagher 6. Benedictine Tradition and Good Governance Emil Inauen, Bruno S. Frey, Katja Rost and Margit Osterloh 7. Opus Dei: Prayer or Labor? The Spirituality of Work in Sts. Benedict and Escrivá James Bernard Murphy 8. Values-based enterprises: the good practices of Italian SMEs, passionately committed to people, environment and community Mara Del Baldo The role of the charismatic economist E.F. Schumacher in economic and civil life: CSR and Beyond Hendrik Opdebeeck

About the Editors

Luigino Bruni is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy.

Barbara Sena is based in the Faculty of Social Science – University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy.

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy

In recent years, there has been widespread criticism of mainstream economics. This has taken many forms, from methodological critiques of its excessive formalism, to concern about its failure to connect with many of the most pressing social issues. This series provides a forum for research which is developing alternative forms of economic analysis. Reclaiming the traditional 'political economy' title, it refrains from emphasising any single school of thought, but instead attempts to foster greater diversity within economics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Economic Policy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General