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Reclaiming the WildernessContemporary Dynamics of the Yiguandao$
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Sébastien Billioud

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197529133

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197529133.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 July 2021

Production of Charisma Within the Yiguandao

Production of Charisma Within the Yiguandao

(p.89) 3 Production of Charisma Within the Yiguandao
Reclaiming the Wilderness

Sébastien Billioud

Oxford University Press

Yiguandao’s Patriarch Zhang Tianran (1889–1947) managed to turn a small sectarian movement into a mass organization with millions of adepts. Although he passed away in 1947, his charisma did not vanish and is still operating today within the group. It is this phenomenon that the current chapter attempts to explore: it first provides some insight into the figure of Zhang Tianran in history before discussing his deification, lasting influence, and charisma. Finally, the chapter shows that the way missionary-adepts relate to their dead Master also provides a model for further dissemination of charismatic authority within the group.

Keywords:   Zhang Tianran, patriarch, charisma, postmortem charisma, deification, missionary-adepts, leadership, charismatic authority

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