Comparative Studies in Society and History

Charisma in India

Charisma, Social Structure and Social Change*

T. K. Oommena1

a1 Delhi School of Social Work, University of Delhi

Notwithstanding the wide currency of the concept of charisma in contemporary social science, considerable confusion exists in regard to its employment. While some authors insist that the concept should be used in the Weberian sense, others advocate its emancipation from the ecclesiastical context in order to render it suitable for use in the modern secular context. I will argue that “charisma” is ultimately a product of social structure and hence its nature and content will undergo a transformation as the society itself changes.


* I thank Dr. M. C. Sekhar for his several very valuable suggestions to shape this article in its present form.