Status is founded on the absolute dichotomy of the pure and the impure, and is expressed as a relative hierarchy of degrees of purity and impurity, with the priest at its summit. It is, essentially, a sacerdotal system. Power is dominance— a hierarchy of degrees of legitimate force, with the king at its summit. It is, essentially, a juridical system. The two systems exhibit a necessary complementarity. The king will always be impure with respect to the priest (largely, though not exclusively, due to corpse pollution); but the priest will be inferior to the king with respect to authority. The priest legitimates the power of the king; the king supports, protects, and preserves the power of the priests.
Jonathan Z. Smith, To Take Place