1875, "special spiritual gift or power divinely conferred, talent from God" (as on the early Christians in "Acts," etc.), Latinized form of Greek kharisma "favor, divine gift," from kharizesthai "to show favor to," from kharis "grace, beauty, kindness" (Charis was the name of one of the three attendants of Aphrodite), which is related to khairein "to rejoice at" (from PIE root *gher- (2) "to like, want").
In the form charism (plural charismata) it is attested in the "special spiritual gift from god" sense from 1640s. Middle English, meanwhile, had karisme "spiritual gift, divine grace" (c. 1500).
These gifts were of two classes, the gift of healing and gift of teaching, the latter again being of two kinds, the gift of prophecy and the gift of tongues. Such gifts have been claimed in later ages by certain teachers and sects in the church, as the Montanists and the Irvingites, and in recent times by some of those who practise the so-called faith-cure. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
The meaning "gift of leadership, power of authority" is from c. 1930, from German, used in this sense by Max Weber (1864-1920) in "Wirtschaft u. Gesellschaft" (1922). The more mundane sense of "personal charm" recorded by 1959.
"of or pertaining to charisma," 1851, in Bible commentary and theology, in reference to the operation of the Holy Spirit and prophetic ecstasy in the early Church (from the use of Greek kharismata in Romans xii), from Latin stem of charisma + -ic. As a movement in modern Christianity emphasizing divine gifts of healing, tongues, etc., attested by 1936, reflecting the older sense of charisma.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to like, want."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit haryati "finds pleasure, likes," harsate "is aroused;" Avestan zara "effort, aim;" Greek khresthai "to lack, want; use, make use of," kharis "grace, favor," khairein "to rejoice, delight in;" Latin hortari "exhort, encourage, urge, incite, instigate;" Russian zhariti "awake desire, charm;" Old English giernan "to strive, desire, yearn;" Gothic gairnei "desire."