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Religious Leadership

Personality, History and Sacred Authority


Richard A. Hutch

This unique study of religious leadership guides the reader through the personalities and action contexts of leaders of world religions. A trajectory of sacred authority is identified, stretching from the animating depths of a leader's inner life, to the vitalizing bond connecting a leader to followers, and finally to the powerful inertia of the culture of the religion a leader represents. A psychological typology of leaders is developed on the basis of this trajectory in the history of religions as it is seen in leaders' action contexts: Self-Encounterer, Group-Container, Tradition-Manager. Illustrations include Martin Luther King, Jr., Ramakrishna, Helena Blavatsky, Oral Roberts, Emmanuel Milingo, Salama ibn Hassan Salama, Jonathan Edwards, and the Dalai Lama. Considerable attention is given to methodology in the scientific study of religion, with special emphasis on contemporary depth psychology. The book is useful not only for predicting future religious leadership, but also for training religious professionals.