ABSTRACT

In modern societies the relation between religion and politics has not disappeared. An archaic Weberian mechanism of legitimation surviving in current states is that of sacralisation. It consists of a fusion between the sacred and political power (even justice and the law in the West retain the imprint, in its language, symbols, form and rituals, etc. (Soulier 1985: 531), of the period in which law was the invention of priests). Power is the attribute of the majority group and, as such, it also therefore constitutes the sacred centre of society in the nation-state. According to Balandier (1981: 46), ‘in every society, political power is not completely desacralized . . . Whether it is visible or hidden, the sacred element is always present in the core of power. It is through this that society is conceived of as a unit.’