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Works

Cultural Genealogy: An Essay on Early Modern Myth

Cultural Genealogy explores the popularization in the Renaissance of the still pervasive myth that later cultures are the hereditary descendants of ancient or older cultures. The core of this myth is the widespread belief that a numinous charismatic power can be passed down unchanged, and in concrete forms, from earlier eras. Raphael Falco shows that such a process of descent is an impossible illusion in a knowledge-based culture. Anachronistic adoption of past values can only occur when these values are adapted and assimilated to the target culture. Without such transcultural adaptation, ancient values would appear as alien artifacts rather than as eternal truths.

Charisma and Myth

Charisma and Myth is a fascinating study that introduces a new approach to myth. By applying charisma theory, Raphael Falco challenges myth theorists from the nineteenth through to the twenty-first century and adds a missing component to our understanding of how and why myths continue to grip our imaginations.

Charismatic Authority in Early Modern English Tragedy

Charismatic Authority in Early Modern English Tragedy reassesses the force of group experience in tragedy by combining literary analysis with research in sociological theory, particularly the theories of Max Weber. Different chapters cover pure charisma, lineage charisma, office charisma, and erotic charisma.