The article analyses social and cultural factors of national identity and nationalistic ideology. According to the author, national identity is going to replace the religious one. The decline of religious consciousness brought at the forefront nationality as the key factor of macro – social identity. The cultural and ideological components become the key components of national identity. This whole process is closely connected to the development of a new “political” universalism that has replace the middle age one. However, the “universalisation” is accompanied with numerous problems, of which one of the most important ones are national tensions and conflicts.