The Crusades: Its Legacy and Representation of Christian Worldview I. Thesis Statement An investigation into the justification and the cause of the crusade whether it represented the Christian worldview and whether its legacy has been positively beneficial to the Western World…
The call for a crusade gained momentum with the sermon of Pope Urban the II in a religious gathering at the Clermont, France in November 27, 1095 where called for arms to reclaim the Holy Land1 (Tyrman 2004, 26-28). The call to arms was “a war answering God's command, authorized by a legitimate authority, the pope, who by virtue of the power seen as vested in him as Vicar of Christ, identified the war's object and offered to those who undertook it full remission of the penalties of confessed sins and a package of related temporal privileges, including church protection of the family and property2” (Tyrman 2004, 30). Those who will die in battle was to be regarded as martyrs and could expect eternal salvation as the crusade is considered as a response of vow made to God3 (Riley-Smith 2008, 9). III. The Reason of the Crusade There were many ancillary reasons why the crusade was launched. Scholars argue that the crusades were launched primarily for economic and political reason because Europe at that time was in a state of war and famine that the crusade is a convenient way out of it. Others argue for adventurism while others asserted that it was for religious aggrandizement. It cannot be denied however that at the core of the crusade is religious fervor. ...
In the Christian’s Volume of Sacred Laws where the Ten Commandments were written, it was even decreed that “thou shall not kill”. Theologians at that time however justified the crusade by glossing the narrative at Mount Sinai where the same law was decreed in the Ten Commandments that God Himself authorized the death of those who worshipped the golden calf when Moses descended from the mountains to receive the Law of God4 (Riley-Smith 2008, 10). In addition to reclaiming the Holy Land that was conquered by the Muslims in 638, the pope justified the crusade as the papacy’s program of reform to unite the western and eastern Christianity and to reconstruct churches in the lands which was previously occupied by the Muslims rule5 (Powell 1995, 666). The teachings of St. Augustine, a prominent theoretician in the fourth and fifth century was also used to justify the violence of the crusade as a corrective measure, an act of love to discipline just like a parent to an erring child6 (Powell 1995, 666). That even God demanded violence when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. This is done by God not without just cause and not out of cruelty but out of righteous retribution. The Augustinian tradition posits that those who took part in war “should only use as much force as necessary7” (Riley-Smith 2008, 12). It follows according to his doctrine that those who administer the crusade should restraint themselves so that the innocent will suffer as little as possible. The result however says otherwise because when the Christian crusaders entered Jerusalem, they slaughtered all of its occupants, including children, women and elderly. What supposed to be a circumscribed ...
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