Thank you for your response. I've read the Johnson (which I liked the least of his books) and the Chadwick. I'll watch for the other.
I suppose the distinction that might help us is between cultural advance and military capture of land, and this distinction is really not that tough to apply to history to extract moral conclusions.
If your religion wins my family's hearts and minds I have nothing to complain about, least of all "imperialism" -- but if your bishop (or Imam) rides and kills my kids and quarters horses in my living room -- you get the point.
I grant you your cultural factors; but the writer's point is that Islam's armies seized land, and European armies took it back. All the while, the eternal culture war of ideas waged, on its own battlefield, and largely irrelevant to this moral analysis.
posted on 11/02/2001 6:30:44 AM PST
"I grant you your cultural factors; but the writer's point is that Islam's armies seized land, and European armies took it back. All the while, the eternal culture war of ideas waged, on its own battlefield, and largely irrelevant to this moral analysis."
I recognize that, but his most salient point is that the rise of the west was not a result of the crusades, in fact, we lost the crusades. In addition, it could be argued that the fall of the Islamic Saracen civilization was less due the crusades than it was the rise of the totalitarian Ottoman Turkish empire. They moved in a collectivist direction, while the west moved in a more individualistic direction. In sum, the crusades do not explain either the rise of the west, or the fall of Islam and are not really the central issue. Of course, they are used as an excuse by every OSB wannabe sense the rise of the west. I see no use in engaging them in a battle over the whole issue. The crusades were neither an unprovoked example of imperial exapansion, nor a strictly defensive endeavor. (Though I will grant that they started out as intended to be a defensive action)
posted on 11/02/2001 7:45:08 AM PST
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