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The Fundamentalist MindsetPsychological Perspectives on Religion, Violence, and History$
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Charles B. Strozier, David M. Terman, James W. Jones, and Katherine A. Boyd

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195379655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379655.001.0001

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The Charismatic Leader and the Totalism of Conversion

The Charismatic Leader and the Totalism of Conversion

Chapter:
(p.38) 4 The Charismatic Leader and the Totalism of Conversion
Source:
The Fundamentalist Mindset
Author(s):

Charles B. Strozier (Contributor Webpage)

Katharine Boyd

James W. Jones (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379655.003.0004

This chapter begins with a discussion of the relationship between the charismatic leader and the members of the group, which emboldens both parties' conviction and reaffirms each individual's sense of group self. It suggests that there may be a nearly universal experience of a certain form of totalized conversion that is a precondition for the easy adoption of paranoid and apocalyptic ideologies. There does appear to be a suggestive link between the way some who later turn to violence in the name of religion first turn to God with a passion and enthusiasm that hides darker and more malevolent inclinations.

Keywords:   totalized conversion, fundamentalism, fundamentalist mindset, apocalyptic thinking, charismatic leader

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