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During the thirteenth century, the widespread conviction that the Christian lands in Syria and Palestine were of utmost importance to Christendom, and that their loss was a sure sign of God's displeasure with Christian society, pervaded nearly all levels of thought. Yet this same society faced other crises: religious dissent and unorthodox beliefs were proliferating in western Europe, and the powers exercised, or claimed, by the kings of Europe were growing rapidly.The sources presented here illustrate the rising criticism of the changing Crusade idea. They reflect a sharpened awareness among Europeans of themselves as a community of Christians and the slow beginnings of the secular culture and political organization of Europe.
In 1213, Pope Innocent III issued his letter Vineam Domini, thundering against the enemies of Christendom--the "beasts of many kinds that are attempting to destroy the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth"--and announcing a General Council of the Latin Church as redress. The Fourth Lateran Council, which convened in 1215, was unprecedented in its scope and impact, and it called for the Fifth Crusade as what its participants hoped would be the final defense of Christendom. For the first time, a collection of extensively annotated and translated documents illustrates the transformation of the crusade movement.Crusade and Christendom explores the way in which the crusade was used to define and extend the intellectual, religious, and political boundaries of Latin Christendom. It also illustrates how the very concept of the crusade was shaped by the urge to define and reform communities of practice and belief within Latin Christendom and by Latin Christendom's relationship with other communities, including dissenting political powers and heretical groups, the Moors in Spain, the Mongols, and eastern Christians. The relationship of the crusade to reform and missionary movements is also explored, as is its impact on individual lives and devotion. The selection of documents and bibliography incorporates and brings to life recent developments in crusade scholarship concerning military logistics and travel in the medieval period, popular and elite participation, the role of women, liturgy and preaching, and the impact of the crusade on western society and its relationship with other cultures and religions.Intended for the undergraduate yet also invaluable for teachers and scholars, this book illustrates how the crusades became crucial for defining and promoting the very concept and boundaries of Latin Christendom. It provides translations of and commentaries on key original sources and up-to-date bibliographic materials.
The First Crusade received its name and shape late. To its contemporaries, the event was a journey and the men who took part in it pilgrims. Only later were those participants dubbed Crusaders--"those signed with the Cross." In fact, many developments with regard to the First Crusade, like the bestowing of the cross and the elaboration of Crusaders' privileges, did not occur until the late twelfth century, almost one hundred years after the event itself. In a greatly expanded second edition, Edward Peters brings together the primary texts that document eleventh-century reform ecclesiology, the appearance of new social groups and their attitudes, the institutional and literary evidence dealing with Holy War and pilgrimage, and, most important, the firsthand experiences by men who participated in the events of 1095-1099. Peters supplements his previous work by including a considerable number of texts not available at the time of the original publication. The new material, which constitutes nearly one-third of the book, consists chiefly of materials from non-Christian sources, especially translations of documents written in Hebrew and Arabic. In addition, Peters has extensively revised and expanded the Introduction to address the most important issues of recent scholarship.
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