Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades


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The Victory of Reason. Reformation Myths.

The Crusades in 5 Minutes

Jonathan Keates. A Brief History of the Crusades. Geoffrey Hindley. Robert Spencer. William Pitt the Younger: A Biography. William Hague. William Dalrymple. Rodney Stark Rodney Stark Ph. Bestsellers in History. Story of Christianity, the Volume 2 2nd Ed. Justo L Gonzalez. Bruce L Shelley. Many critics of the Crusades would seem to suppose that after the Muslims had overrun a major portion of Christendom, they should have been ignored or forgiven; suggestions have been made about turning the other cheek.

This outlook is certainly unrealistic and probably insincere. Not only had the Byzantines lost most of their empire; the enemy was at their gates.

God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades by Rodney Stark

And the loss of Spain, Sicily, and southern Italy, as well as a hose of Mediterranean islands, was bitterly resented in Europe. A great deal of nonsense has been written about Muslim tolerance — that, in contrast to Christian brutality against Jews and heretics, Islam showed remarkable tolerance for conquered people, treated them with respect, and allowed them to pursue their faith without interference. This claim probably began with Voltaire, Gibbon, and other eighteenth-century writers who used it to cast the Catholic Church in the worst possible light.

The truth about life under Muslim rule is quite different.

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In the Muslim conquerors of Armenia assembled all the Christian nobles in a church and burned them to death. There were many similar episodes in addition to the indiscriminate slaughters of Christians noted earlier in discussions of the Muslim conquests.


  1. God's Battalions: The Case For the Crusades!
  2. God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades.
  3. Critical Journal of Philosophy.

The first Muslim massacre of Jews occurred in Medina when Muhammad had all the local adult Jewish males about seven hundred of them beheaded after forcing them to dig their own graves. Unfortunately, massacres of Jews and Christians became increasingly common with the passage of time.

But what has largely been ignored is that the decline of that culture and the inability of Muslims to keep up with the West occurred because Muslim or Arab culture was largely an illusion resting on a complex mix of dhimmi cultures, and as such, it was easily lost and always vulnerable to being repressed as heretical. Hence, when in the fourteenth century Muslims in the East stamped out nearly all religious nonconformity, Muslim backwardness came to the fore.

Although the Crusades were initiated by a plea from the pope, this had nothing to do with the hopes of converting Islam [sic.

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GOD'S BATTALIONS: THE CASE FOR THE CRUSADES by Rodney Stark

Nor were the Crusades organized and led by surplus sons, but by the heads of great families who were fully aware that the costs of crusading would far exceed the very modest material rewards that could be expected; most went at immense personal cost, some of them knowingly bankrupting themselves to go. Here goes: The barbaric and bloodthirsty Christian West launched a brutal, unprovoked attack on the cultured, peaceful and tolerant Islamic civilisation in an imperialist attempt to win territory and trade, subjugate foreign peoples and force conversions.

Variations on this theme can be found in both lowbrow and highbrow culture. The film about the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven , presented what the mediaevalist Jonathan Riley-Smith described as "Osama bin Laden's version of history". Academic discourse uses Edward Said's allegations in his Orientalism of the Western manufacture of "the Other" to elaborate its conspiracy theory about Western "Islamophobia". For the th anniversary of the capture of Jerusalem, a group of Christians retraced the route of the First Crusade during , apologising to Muslims along the way.

Certainly, some have argued that the New Testament envisages neither the union of church and state controlling armed force which emerged after under the Roman Emperor Constantine, nor the cult of relics, holy sites and pilgrimages which made Palestine such a revered destination for Europeans. However, given that these two phenomena had come into existence by the 11th century, how should we assess the Crusades?

It might be useful to list each of the myths associated with the subject, followed by Rodney Stark's exposure of it. Myth Number One : Muslims have never forgotten nor forgiven the Crusades, and have nursed a bitter resentment of them for a millennium.

Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades Gods Battalions: The Case for the Crusades

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