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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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Charisma and Routinization of the Extraordinary

Charisma and Routinization of the Extraordinary

Structuring Leadership to Open the Wilderness

(p.119) 4 Charisma and Routinization of the Extraordinary
Reclaiming the Wilderness

Sébastien Billioud

Oxford University Press

The Yiguandao is now a large cross-national religious organization with millions of adepts worldwide. The perpetuation of the personal charisma of dead leaders discussed in chapter 3 needs to be backed up—and perhaps gradually or partially replaced—by a charisma of function that increasingly belongs to religious specialists (initiators) at the forefront of the global missionary effort. The movement is progressively structured and routinized with a much more institutionalized leadership. However, routinization and institutionalization remain for the adepts the result of spirit or divine intervention to the extent that it is even possible to mention a routinization of the extraordinary.

Keywords:   charisma, postmortem charisma, charisma of function, spirit-writing, leadership, initiators, religious specialists, routinization, institutionalization

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