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7010 -- BIENFAIT, AGATHE

Zeichen und Wunder. Über die Funktion der Selig- und Heiligsprechungen in der katholischen Kirche
Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 58.2006:1-22
Keywords: Catholic Church, sociology of religion, religion, Christianity, charisma, Weber, M., canonization

##Signs and miracles. The function of beatifications and canonizations for the Catholic Church
During the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. (1978-2005), canonizations and beatifications have reached a height so far unparalleled: From 1978 until 2004, John Paul II. has canonized 482 persons, these are 180 more canonizations as all his predecessors in office since 1592. The aim of this contribution is to explain this extraordinary increase of saints and to analyze the function of canonizations and beatifications for the catholic church. Referring to Max Webers concept of charisma, it is shown that canonizations allow to extend the representation of the personal charisma in the church as an institution. In this way, the institutionalized charisma of office (Amtscharisma) that is always threatened by objectification and depersonalization can be connected with the personal charisma of the saints. Thus, canonization allows an additional legitimation of the institutionalized charisma by its repersonalization. Beyond this, the combination of institutionalized charisma and personal charisma shows a special form of transformation of the genuine personal charisma, so far unconsidered, that could be a gainful enhancement of Max Webers theory of charisma.##

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