Reply To: Crusades


It does indeed help, thank you for the elaboration, though it is hard to wrap my mind around some of the reasoning behind it.

Here’s my thinking: These were very different times and in an age before the market was a widespread fact of life, people saw each other much more as rivals and a threat to each other than today, where it is cemented somewhere in the conscience of most people that we can benefit from the division of labor and cooperation with each other. Violence was ubiquitous, thus people in general and the nobility specifically were brought up to expect fighting as a fact of life, and in this culture it was their duty to excel in warfare and to showcase this in combat. On the other hand, before the ideas of individual liberty were properly understood, the clergy believed it had a divine duty to spread the ideas of Christianity and thereby save the souls of ordinary people in any way they could. Though, being human, I am sure the Church authority did not exactly frown upon the idea of spreading their power and influence and therefore embraced these crusades all the more eagerly. Would that be about right in your view?

You mention that the clergy more or less accepted warfare as a fact of life and that the best they could do was at least to channel this aggression against non-Christians and heretics. Were there any attempts to stop the bloodshed in any form, regardless? To say killing people may not be the best way, even if they are non-Christians. How widespread was this idea?

You use the term “temporal” twice, the meaning of which I cannot pin down precisely. On Wikipedia I read that it means the political power that the popes wielded, as opposed to spiritual authority, though it seems you are using it as a synonym of “secular”.

I hope I am not showering you with too many questions and I appreciate your engaging in the discussions!