Christendom and the Crusade

Tomaž Mastnak

in Crusading Peace

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780520226357
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925991 | DOI:
Christendom and the Crusade

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This chapter describes Christendom as a form of Western unity that emerged in the High Middle Ages. People referred to themselves as inhabitants of Christendom, which referred to “the limits of society larger than their village or parish, country or kingdom.” Christendom found its most potent expression in the crusade; the crusade carried it to its highest point of fervor. The creation of holy Christendom is seen from two complementary perspectives: the unification of Latin Christians and the polarization between them and the outside world. When Christendom becomes conscious of itself as a political-religious body, there is war, and the crusades arose from this consciousness. War made by holy Christendom was considered holy, and this holy war was the common undertaking of the Western Christians. Waging wars against the barbarians and the Pagans had always inhibited the Christian imagery, even in the centuries preceding the crusades. In the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, when the Muslims reached the European peninsula, they also became barbarians in the eyes of the Latin Christians. In the eleventh century, Latin Christians entered a state of permanent warfare against the Muslims in the Mediterranean.

Keywords: Christendom; crusade; Latin Christians; Western Christians; Muslims

Chapter.  28176 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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