Camden Theological Library

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Great Spiritual Leaders

Posted on 13 May 2014 Gavin Glenn

Edited by UTC faculty members, Sef Carroll and William Emilsen, with articles by several other UTC faculty members and UCA ministers.

The death of Nelson Mandela in December 2013 prompted a global outpouring of both grief and celebration. The modern world had lost one of its great leaders. Mandela's extraordinary personal gifts generated considerable discussion about public leadership. Is leadership an innate human quality or can its principles be learned? What constitutes good leadership? Why do some leaders succeed while others fail? Who are the great leaders of our time and how will those who follow them be prepared? Great Spiritual Leaders considers these and other questions by exploring the nature and nurture of 'leadership' from a variety of different faith perspectives, looking to the founders of the principal world religions as well as to their contemporary exponents. The contributors to this collection of portraits examine the attributes of influential religious and spiritual leaders across four millennia and almost every continent. They conclude that there are at least five attributes of effective leadership that appear to be crucial for enhanced living in pluralist societies – a commitment to collaborative oversight, the importance of exemplary service, the possession of truthfulness and integrity, a vision encompassing the well-being of all humanity, and the ability to interpret ancient religious traditions in a fast changing world. This book will instruct and inspire those called to leadership wherever that call is experienced.

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