Charisma is ordinary: Weber, Rieff and the charismatic faith of biblical Israel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This article examines critical assessments of Max Weber's influential writings on Judaism. It focuses primarily on criticisms of Weber articulated by American Jewish sociologist Philip Rieff (1922-2006) and his one-time teacher Edward Shils (1910-1995). In a posthumously published 2007 work entitled Charisma: The Gift of Grace, and How It Has Been Taken Away from Us, Rieff takes aim at Weber's concept of charisma. In doing so, he argues for a novel yet traditional understanding of the contribution of Judaism to Western culture. This article explores challenges to Weber from Rieff and Shils under three headings: the distinctiveness of the Jewish people; the nature of charisma; and covenant and prophets. It reviews Weber's writings on these subjects and argues that Rieff correctly identifies ways in which Weber's concept of charisma remains beholden to Protestant thought and a mode of inquiry that obscures and opposes key aspects of Jewish self-understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-178
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

charisma
faith
Israel
Judaism
gift
sociologist
criticism
Charisma
Faith
teacher

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

@article{36d4a8d34acd4da98261218e4c04a58f,
title = "Charisma is ordinary: Weber, Rieff and the charismatic faith of biblical Israel",
abstract = "This article examines critical assessments of Max Weber's influential writings on Judaism. It focuses primarily on criticisms of Weber articulated by American Jewish sociologist Philip Rieff (1922-2006) and his one-time teacher Edward Shils (1910-1995). In a posthumously published 2007 work entitled Charisma: The Gift of Grace, and How It Has Been Taken Away from Us, Rieff takes aim at Weber's concept of charisma. In doing so, he argues for a novel yet traditional understanding of the contribution of Judaism to Western culture. This article explores challenges to Weber from Rieff and Shils under three headings: the distinctiveness of the Jewish people; the nature of charisma; and covenant and prophets. It reviews Weber's writings on these subjects and argues that Rieff correctly identifies ways in which Weber's concept of charisma remains beholden to Protestant thought and a mode of inquiry that obscures and opposes key aspects of Jewish self-understanding.",
author = "Legaspi, {Michael Chris}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.18647/3401/jjs-2019",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "70",
pages = "155--178",
journal = "Journal of Jewish Studies",
issn = "0022-2097",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "1",

}

Charisma is ordinary : Weber, Rieff and the charismatic faith of biblical Israel. / Legaspi, Michael Chris.

In: Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. 70, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 155-178.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Charisma is ordinary

T2 - Weber, Rieff and the charismatic faith of biblical Israel

AU - Legaspi, Michael Chris

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - This article examines critical assessments of Max Weber's influential writings on Judaism. It focuses primarily on criticisms of Weber articulated by American Jewish sociologist Philip Rieff (1922-2006) and his one-time teacher Edward Shils (1910-1995). In a posthumously published 2007 work entitled Charisma: The Gift of Grace, and How It Has Been Taken Away from Us, Rieff takes aim at Weber's concept of charisma. In doing so, he argues for a novel yet traditional understanding of the contribution of Judaism to Western culture. This article explores challenges to Weber from Rieff and Shils under three headings: the distinctiveness of the Jewish people; the nature of charisma; and covenant and prophets. It reviews Weber's writings on these subjects and argues that Rieff correctly identifies ways in which Weber's concept of charisma remains beholden to Protestant thought and a mode of inquiry that obscures and opposes key aspects of Jewish self-understanding.

AB - This article examines critical assessments of Max Weber's influential writings on Judaism. It focuses primarily on criticisms of Weber articulated by American Jewish sociologist Philip Rieff (1922-2006) and his one-time teacher Edward Shils (1910-1995). In a posthumously published 2007 work entitled Charisma: The Gift of Grace, and How It Has Been Taken Away from Us, Rieff takes aim at Weber's concept of charisma. In doing so, he argues for a novel yet traditional understanding of the contribution of Judaism to Western culture. This article explores challenges to Weber from Rieff and Shils under three headings: the distinctiveness of the Jewish people; the nature of charisma; and covenant and prophets. It reviews Weber's writings on these subjects and argues that Rieff correctly identifies ways in which Weber's concept of charisma remains beholden to Protestant thought and a mode of inquiry that obscures and opposes key aspects of Jewish self-understanding.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065045991&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85065045991&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.18647/3401/jjs-2019

DO - 10.18647/3401/jjs-2019

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:85065045991

VL - 70

SP - 155

EP - 178

JO - Journal of Jewish Studies

JF - Journal of Jewish Studies

SN - 0022-2097

IS - 1

ER -