The Crusades were a very complicated series of events. They don't fit neatly into this idea, though.
Atrocities committed against pilgrims in the Holy Land and threats against Constantinople were the two proximate causes of the Crusades. Both were a result of the conquest of the Middle East by Turkish tribes, many of whom were at best marginally Muslim. They were barbaric and motivated mostly by desire for plunder. They treated Christians who came into their power essentially as they treated Muslims who weren't part of their tribe. Badly. As did the earlier Huns, Scythians and Magyars, who were not even vaguely religious in their motivation.
In a very broad sense the Crusades were a counter-attack against Islam. But they were a several centuries delayed counter-attack.
In their aspect of holy war against the enemies of God, they were an incorporation of the Muslim idea of jihad into Christianity. Probably took a couple of centuries to take hold, since it is just a dramatically unChristian concept.
posted on 01/19/2004 9:52:28 AM PST
This is going to be unpopular here, but the Crusades were ALSO a land-grab, an excuse for plunder, and a way for some european rulers or the Pope to get RID of inconveiniant people. ( He's after your crown? Send him on Crusade! ) People justify all SORTS of things in the name of religeon, and the Church's hands are not as pristine as they might be.
posted on 01/19/2004 10:11:46 AM PST
("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno World!")
posted on 01/19/2004 4:59:08 PM PST
by Voice in your head
("The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage." - Thucydides)
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