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April 20, 2010

English Professor Publishes Charisma and Myth

April 8, 2010

English Professor Publishes Charisma and Myth

Chelsea Haddaway
Communications Manager


Raphael Falco, professor of english, has published Charisma and Myth (Continuum, 2010), which combines an interdisciplinary examination of myth with the newest developments in the application of charisma theory to history and social life.

Through scores of examples ranging from Inuit myth to Christian theology, from Malinowski to martyrology, Charisma and Myth argues definitively that the survival of myth systems mirrors the survival of such charismatic groups as modern street gangs, the Anglo-Saxon comitatus, or Satan's fallen angels in Paradise Lost. Even the smallest charismatic group generates its own set of myths, and, like larger myth systems, depends on continual revolutionary change - not, as might be expected, on the stability of its myths - to survive and to achieve longevity.

As this innovative study shows, group leaders must learn first to foster and then to manage the mild chaos and changing symbols of their myths. Charisma and Myth challenges myth theorists from the nineteenth through to the twenty-first century and adds a missing component to our understanding of how and why myths continue to grip our imaginations.

"An original take on the place of myth in the modern world. And very well written to boot." - Robert A. Segal, sixth century chair in religious studies at the University of Aberdeen and author of Theorizing about Myth and Myth: A Very Short Introduction

"Raphael Falco's Charisma and Myth is an important contribution to the study of myth as well as sociology. . . This is a powerful book which is bound to make an impact." - Robert Ellwood, author of Myth: A Guide for the Perplexed and Tales of Darkness

Posted by mjordan at April 20, 2010 8:18 AM