The conceptualization of charisma in the early thirteenth century

Ayelet Even-Ezra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


While different facets of charisma in medieval culture were studied by researchers who applied Weberian theory and terminology, the fact that there was also a medieval concept of charisma (Donum), grounded in 1 Corinthians 12, as was Weber's, has remained ignored. The present essay traces the appear-ance of a concept of grace that does not make one worthy to the scholastic theology of the early thirteenth century. It analyses contemporary discussions over the moral status of the habitus of prophecy, in which a new understanding of the supernatural as detached from the moral sphere appears; demonstrates the emer-gence of the new category of non-gratifying grace and reveals the prominence of knowledge and edification in it. Several suggestions as to the cultural context of this process are then proposed: new forms of charis-matic preaching, crisis of charisma in the nascent university, and papal and mendicant advocation of a per-ception of gifts of knowledge as actively engaged in socially beneficial activities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)151-168
Number of pages18
JournalViator - Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Alexander of hales
  • Charisma
  • Gift
  • Grace
  • Gratia non gratum faciens
  • Knowledge
  • Philip the chancellor
  • Preaching
  • Prophecy
  • Supernatural
  • William of auxerre


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