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Ledare online. : En kvalitativ innehållsanalys av tio hemsidor skapade av rörelser med bakgrund i västerländsk esoterism och deras porträttering av auktoriteter. / Leaders Online. : A Qualitative Content Analysis of Ten Websites Created by Movements with a Background in Western Esotericism and Their Portrayal of Authority.

  • Nederman, Sabina
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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This study investigates how key figures in new religious movements (NRMs) with roots in Western esotericism establish their authority on movements' websites. This study aims to provide a more comprehensive picture of ten key figures than previous research that focused on single key figures within esoteric movements. A qualitative content analysis of the websites of ten such movements has shown how a wide range of claims ultimately represent variations on a small number of themes. These are: claiming to draw upon knowledge and experiences from established traditions; having produced the key texts of the movement; possessing unique personality traits; having had important religious insights, including having received revelations; having previous success as leaders; and integrating scientific findings with their religious message. The present study on the one hand shows the utility of James R. Lewis’ typology of legitimacy strategies, together with Weber's classic tripartite classification of authority. On the other hand, it also demonstrates that a quite restricted number of themes recur on these websites, and that leaders from a diverse set of esoteric movements are primarily depicted as legitimate authorities by being presented as charismatic figures

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