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Charisma .

The English term charisma is from the Greek χάρισμα, which means "favor freely given" or "gift of grace." The term and its plural χαρίσματα (charismata) derive from χάρις (charis), which means "grace." Some derivatives from that root have similar meanings to the modern sense of personality charisma, such as "filled with attractiveness or charm," "kindness," "to bestow a favor or service," or "to be favored or blessed." Moreover, the ancient Greek dialect widely used in Roman times employed these terms without the connotations found in modern religious usage. Ancient Greeks applied personality charisma to their gods; for example, attributing charm, beauty, nature, human creativity or fertility to goddesses they called Charites (Χάριτες).

Theologians and social scientists have expanded and modified the original Greek meaning into the two distinct senses above. For ease of reference, we will call the first sense personality charisma and the second divinely conferred charisma.
The meaning of charisma has become greatly diffused from its original divinely conferred meaning, and even from the personality charisma meaning in modern English dictionaries, which reduces to a mixture of charm and status. John Potts, who has extensively analyzed the term's history, sums up meanings beneath this diffused common usage.

Contemporary charisma maintains, however, the irreducible character ascribed to it by Weber: it retains a mysterious, elusive quality. Media commentators regularly describe charisma as the 'X-factor'. …The enigmatic character of charisma also suggests a connection – at least to some degree – to the earliest manifestations of charisma as a spiritual gift.
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Additional Photos by Georgios Topas (TopGeo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4033 W: 93 N: 8299] (38220)
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