In a recent survey of Max Weber’s political ideas, Karl Loewenstein observes that the concepts of “charisma” and the “charismatic leader” have had the greatest impact upon the thinking of our time. Unquestionably, many Western social scientists have been influenced by the Weberian idea of the leader who enjoys his authority not through enacted position or traditional dignity, but owing to gifts of grace (charisma) “by virtue of which he is set apart from other men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities.” 1 Few aspects of Weber’s political sociology have been so much discussed in the recent literature of political science, and interest in the subject is still growing. Yet no scholarly consensus seems to have formed, or even to be in process of formation, on the scientific worth and precise application of the concept of charismatic leadership.