Das "Wesen" der Monarchie ? : kritische Anmerkungen zum "Sakralkönigtum" in der Geschichtswissenschaft
Jens Ivo Engels
Engels, Jens Ivo, "Das "Wesen" der Monarchie ? : kritische Anmerkungen zum "Sakralkönigtum" in der Geschichtswissenschaft", dans Majestas, n° 7, 1999, p. 3-39.
Scholars (ethnologists, sociologists, historians) use the notion of "sacral kingship" in very different manners. Therefore the expression "the king was sacred" has no precise meaning. In order to enable fruitful research on the image of European Monarchy, one should use a definition which takes into account the context of christian religion and the practices of faith. Scholars using the concept of "sacral kingship"offen tend to a remystification of Monarchy. In addition, the concept implies a vision of attitudes towards the king, that is not confirrned by empirical research (as shown by the case of France, 18th century). Far from "believing" passively in official juridico-theological concepts, far from being "captivated" by an "irrational" mentality, people constructed their image of the king depending on circumstances, oscillating between manipulation and fascination.