Theory of Divine Right of Kingship

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Apotheosis, Monarchy, Sacred king
  • Pages : 3 (887 words )
  • Download(s) : 300
  • Published : May 28, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Definition of Divine kingship
The Divine kingship is a concept that views a ruler as an incarnation, manifestation, mediator, or agent of the sacred world. Divine kingship is a natural outgrowth of societal changes in complex societies. It is a political and religious form of organization that repeatedly developed in cultures all over the world. The Divine Kingship typically emerges as a result of the development of hierarchical structure. Chiefs who declare their leadership through kin descent become focused on control of land and resources. As a result, they seek to gain political advantage. Their position in a descent hierarchy typically enables them to call upon ancestors for assistance. Clan rank can typically be associated with associations of spiritual powers. This fusion of the political and social worlds with the religious world is assumed to be ordered and logical. As a result, it is relatively easy to take make a claim of divine kingship. Hierarchical structure would then evolve logically from the chiefdom into a divine kingship as population growth increased and the need for greater political authority and control developed. The issue becomes one of how much control and how far does it reach. Various types of sacred kingship have prevailed in ancient cultures. There are three basic characteristics of sacred kings: (1) they are the receptacle of supernatural or divine power; (2) they descend from divine or semi-divine rulers; and

(3) they are agents or mediators of the sacred.
Societies view their rulers or chiefs as inheritors of the community's magical power. The ruler's power may be both malevolent and beneficial, and it is believed to be essential in all dimensions of communal life, particularly in agricultural societies where the ruler's influence over the weather and the land's fertility ensure the harvest necessary for survival. The supernatural powers of the chief may also protect the community from enemies and calamities and so maintain...
tracking img