Relational dynamics of charismatic organization: the complimentarity of love and power
Bradley, Raymond Trevor
Roberts, Nancy C.
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This paper outlines a new theory of structural transformation in charismatic systems by postulating a complementary relationship between love and power. Radical reorganization of social organization, the function of charismatic systems, requires mobilizing and realigning enormous amounts of social energy. The source of this social energy is love. When patterned as communion, love fuses the group into an undifferentiated whole and releases the social energy previously locked up as institutionalized structure. Released from structure or form, however, social energy is highly volatile and produces immense pressures towards instability. Counterbalancing the pressure from communion, a strong, collective order of power functions to harness and align the energy, thereby promoting group stability and enhancing the prospects for structural transformation. Data from a national study of sixty urban communal organizations are used to ground key aspects of the theory.
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