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Gifts To The Corinthians20150824Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma
1.Gifts to the Corinthians
From St Paul's coining of the word to the commodification of charisma in the 21st century - an overview of this equivocal gift.
St Paul coined the word "charisma" in his letters to the Corinthians, defining it as a divine gift, such as prophecy or speaking in tongues. Francine starts her exploration by learning about the volatile world in which St Paul was writing, and the many strange mystery religions and hero cults which abounded at the time. She brings the religious meaning of the word right up to date by exploring why these more flamboyant gifts do not suit all worshippers in today's Church of England.
Far from a celebration of celebrity, Pinning Down the Butterfly is a very contemporary study. From the start, Francine explores the idea that charisma is an amoral quality, deeply implicated in the 2008 banking crisis, Britain's ambivalent relationship with politics and royalty, and the seductive draw of Osama Bin Laden and the new "digital caliphate" of the so-called Islamic State.
Contributors include John Adair (Professor of Leadership at the UN), Moeletsi Mbeki, Derren Brown, Professor Lucy Riall, Kenneth Branagh, Peter Day, Elesa Zehndorfer, Professor Michael Kenny, Professor Patricia Fara, Helen Castor and Abdel Bari Atwan.
Readings by Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Beaty Rubens.
Gifts To The Corinthians20150824
The Power Of Presence20150825Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma.
2.The Power of Presence.
Divine grace as experienced by medieval mystics Margery Kempe and Joan of Arc.
After the early apostolic era, the Church hierarchy preferred to channel divine communication through its own bishops, but Medieval Europe features a surprising number of women mystics who - risking charges of heresy - claimed that they experienced direct interaction with God.
Francine Stock learns about the extraordinary story of the Norfolk housewise Margery Kempe, who wept her way across Europe to Jerusalem. She compares her story with that of the more public-spirited Joan of Arc, whose divine calling led to her military defence of France. The charismatic presence of both is evoked by historians Anthony Beale - who calls Margery Kempe a "contemporary Kardashian" - and Helen Castor, author of a new biography of Joan of Arc.
Meanwhile, the quality of presence in charismatic individuals is anatomised by film and stage actor, Kenneth Branagh.
With readings by Simon Russell Beale.
Producer: Beaty Rubens.
The Queen's Touch20150826Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma.
3.The Queen's Touch
In the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth, a belief prevailed in the "royal touch" - the ability of the queen to heal subjects of scrofula by the laying on of hands. This power was seen as a charismatic gift, bestowed by God at her coronation. But this is not entirely a thing of the distant past. Francine Stock is surprised to learn that even at the coronation of our own Queen Elizabeth in 1953, the moment of anointing - when divine power is believed to be bestowed upon royalty - was not shown on camera.
Francine explores this idea of what the German sociologist Max Weber called "charisma of office" with historian Anna Whitelock and John Adair, Professor of Leadership at the UN. She also hears from teenage sea cadet, Sophie, who is proud to have attended on the Queen - and even folded the royal blanket!
Francine explores with Anna Whitelock how a version of the royal touch seems to persist even today, and wonders whether it will continue among the new-look, younger royals of the 21st century.
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Beaty Rubens.
Animal Magnetism20150827Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma.
4.Animal Magnetism
The 18th century medical doctor, Franz Mesmer, was a European celebrity in his day. Francine Stock hears from historian of science Patricia Fara about Mesmer's use of so-called "animal magnetism" to heal - and wonders about Mesmer's erotic input. Meanwhile, the actor Simon Russel Beale reads some truly extraordinary contemporary accounts of Mesmer's impact in Britain and France.
Attempting further to understand Mesmer's healing powers, Francine also explores the charismatic power of the mesmeric or hypnotic gaze. The distinguished art historian, Richard Cork, shares his memories of the gaze of Pablo Picasso, while the illusionist, Derren Brown, frankly shares some professional secrets with Francine.
Producer; Beaty Rubens.
Red Shirts And Black Shirts20150828Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma
5.Red Shirts and Black Shirts
Charismatic nationalist leadership
In the 1860s, Giuseppe Garibaldi was the most famous man in Europe. A correspondent from the London Times encountered him at a public rally in Palermo, and described how men threw themselves forward to touch the hem of his garment, while mothers offered their babies up to be blessed by him.
With the help of historian Professor Lucy Riall, Francine explores the creation of the charismatic national commander who would lead the Risorgimento and establish Rome as the capital of a newly united Italy. She hears about his natural charm, his physical appearance and clothes, but also about his protean ability to be different things to different people and to exploit new technology to spread his image and his message.
Francine then moves on to a more recent example of radical leadership. She hears from the writer and broadcaster, Abdel Bari Atwan, about his secret visit to Osma Bin Laden in the Tora Bora caves of Afghanistan and about how, in turn, the publicity machine of Al Quaeda used contemporary new technology to advance their cause.
Finally, Francine investigates the dangers of this type of nationalist leadership, and hears from Lucy Riall about how Garibaldi's Red Shirts were to be a direct inspiration for the Black Shirts of Mussolini.
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Beaty Rubens.
Red Shirts And Black Shirts20150828
The 'it' Factor20150831Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma
6.The "It" Factor
Sarah Bernhardt and the beginnings of celebrity charisma
In her day, the French actor Sarah Bernhardt was said to be the most famous woman in the world after Queen Victoria. The American scholar Edward Berenson helps Francine untangle the many strands of Bernhardt's appeal, from her beauty and energy on stage and screen, to her eccentricity (she was said to sleep in a coffin and keep wild animals as pets) and her later disability. Edward Berenson pin-points the moment when he believes Bernhard's celebrity was transformed into true charisma. And, as Bernhardt later appeared in the new art-form of film, Francine sets out on a path to explore the early movie stars who did - or, in many cases, did not - have the famed "It Factor".
With contributions from the illusionist Derren Brown and the Australian author of a study of charisma, Professor John Potts.
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Beaty Rubens.
The 'it' Factor20150831
The 'it' Factor20150831
The 'it' Factor20150831
The 'it' Factor20150831
The 'it' Factor20150831
The Best To You Each Morning20150901Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma.
7.The Best To You Each Morning
Self-made American charismatic leaders - from W.K Kellogg and Henry Ford to Apple's Steve Jobs and Viacom's Sumner Restone.
A religious upbringing, a great idea and an exceptional ability to read the desires of the American people are just three of the shared characteristics of the early 20th century self-made men who feature in this programme. Collectively, they have set an influential template for charismatic business leaders to this day.
Francine Stock hears from the business journalist and broadcaster Peter Day about his personal - and not altogether complimentary - impressions of Steve Jobs and his extraordinary "force field" of attention. She draws a somewhat surprising profile of the self-made mogul - for whom conquering death itself seems to have become the longed-for ultimate charismatic act.
Producer; Beaty Rubens.
Hitler's Library20150902Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma
8.Hitler's Library
The historical ideas that influenced the Third Reich, and how the horrors of Hitler's so-called "dark charisma" have affected European attitudes to political charisma ever since.
Francine Stock's starting point are the books in Hitler's library and the ideas which he drew from them. She talks with Professor John Adair from the UN about the influential "Great Man" theory of the Victorian writer Thomas Carlyle; and with Professor Michael Kenny from the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary, University of London, about the writings of the German sociologist, Max Weber, who died in 1920 but whose key work on charisma would have been known to Hitler.
Francine moves on to consider how the atrocities of the Hitler years have created a suspicion of charismatic political leadership across Europe to this day - as witnessed, perhaps, in Angela Merkel's "drab charisma", or the ambivalence of the British electorate towards Tony Blair.
With the help of writer and broadcaster Abdel Bari Atwan, author of an important new book on the "Digital Caliphate" of the so-called Islamic State, Francine wonders whether the dark charismatic power of an individual leader such as Hitler is now being replaced by a more diffuse but equally sinister online presence.
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Beaty Rubens
Hitler's Library20150902Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma
8.Hitler's Library
The historical ideas that influenced the Third Reich, and how the horrors of Hitler's so-called "dark charisma" have affected European attitudes to political charisma ever since.
Francine Stock's starting point are the books in Hitler's library and the ideas which he drew from them. She talks with Professor John Adair from the UN about the influential "Great Man" theory of the Victorian writer Thomas Carlyle; and with Professor Michael Kenny from the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary, University of London, about the writings of the German sociologist, Max Weber, who died in 1920 but whose key work on charisma would have been known to Hitler.
Francine moves on to consider how the atrocities of the Hitler years have created a suspicion of charismatic political leadership across Europe to this day - as witnessed, perhaps, in Angela Merkel's "drab charisma", or the ambivalence of the British electorate towards Tony Blair.
With the help of writer and broadcaster Abdel Bari Atwan, author of an important new book on the "Digital Caliphate" of the so-called Islamic State, Francine wonders whether the dark charismatic power of an individual leader such as Hitler is now being replaced by a more diffuse but equally sinister online presence.
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Beaty Rubens.
Hitler's Library20150902
The Nelson Effect20150903Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma
9.The Nelson Effect
The charisma of humility and service in Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama
Throughout the series, Francine Stock has been fascinated to learn that charisma is an amoral quality - value-free, neither positive nor negative in itself, with the potential to do good or harm depending on those who harness it. In the previous episode, she considered the appalling impact of Hitler's "dark charisma".
She now turns to two 21st century individuals who have used their charisma to serve their people: Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
Francine talks with Moeletsi Mbeki, Deputy Chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs, who knew Nelson Mandela well and who anatomises his particularly powerful type of charisma. And she hears from Jas Elsner, who has worked closely with the Dalai Lama, and who explains how his religious upbringing and belief underpin his charisma.
In an era in which the casual use of the term charisma has proliferated, Professor John Potts - who recently came across an advertisement for a "charismatic sandwich" (one in which the lettuce was particularly crisp) - discusses the importance of authenticity in the truly charismatic.
Producer: Beaty Rubens
The New Corinthians20150904Francine Stock's final attempt to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma.
10.The New Corinthians
Francine Stock examines the paradox at the heart of charisma today: that we recognise its intangibility and often debunk it, but continue to crave it and even believe we can buy it.
Her starting point is the banking crisis of 2008. She talks with Elesa Zhendorfer about her new book on the role of charismatic leadership in the volatile world of banking; and hears from business journalist and broadcaster Peter Day, who passionately denounces the narcissistic role of so-called charismatic leaders in business and finance today.
Francine then returns to the beginnings of her search, hearing about today's version of charismatic Christianity in today's largely secular society, and its attempts to use charisma for the common good, in accordance with St Paul's original definition.
Francine Stock concludes by wondering whether we can turn this gift of grace to shared advantage: "After all," she states, "We get the charismatics we deserve."
Producer : Beaty Rubens
Charisma: Pinning Down the ButterflyGifts To The Corinthians20150824
Charisma: Pinning Down the ButterflyRed Shirts And Black Shirts20150828
Charisma: Pinning Down the ButterflyHitler's Library20150902

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Genre

  • Documentaries / Factual / History

Duration

  • 43 Minutes