The Crusades Can Be Used To Represent The Catholic Church And Its Mission Today

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In history since 1096 until 1254 (Stewart, 1968), there was seven crusades and there were several different reasons for the crusades. In some cases, the reason for the crusade was similar whether it was religious, economical and also political motives. The crusades happen because of the Holy land and it was between the Christian and the Muslims. The first crusade which was in between 1096-1099 and it was called for the reason of the pilgrims’ problems and it was between the Christians and the Muslims for the Holy land and it was a military success because the crusader succeeds in capturing Jerusalem and the Holy land (Stewart, 1968). Over the next six centuries after the first crusade there were many more wars for the Holy land. It was both a victory and a disappointment in some wars. Jesus was born in Jerusalem, lived his life until his death and also arouse from his death after that Jesus stayed on earth for forty days all happened in Jerusalem. To represent the Catholic Church and its mission today, the crusades may or may not be beneficial. According to this book by Nicolle (2001), the crusades were basically a competition between more than three different groups of people including Christians from Western Europe, Muslims, and Orthodox Christians.

The first crusade was called by pope Urban II in 1095 and met the other leaders in south-eastern France at Clermont to do the conversation about the war and the service they need provide for God, “this war is for the service of God” (Nicholson, 2004). Pope Urban II also states that this conflict is to help the Christian people who live in the east with the barbarous Muslims. The holy land was ruled by the Muslims in Jerusalem before the first crusade. In contrast, the Christians wanted to take back Holy land because Jesus was born in Jerusalem and lived his life until his death and had reincarnation. For example, The Holy land means a lot to the Muslims as well as to the Christians the only difference between these two religions was that the Muslims look at Jesus as their prophet but for the Christians Jesus is their God. Pope Urban II introduce to fact that the people who will join this war they are doing this for their God not for money and there is nothing to be guilty about and God will forgive them. According to the book by Nicholson the crusades happen because of the Christians negative thinking about the Muslims “Christians believed that Islam was a false religion, inspired by devil rather than by God, and they feared that it would conquer the whole of Christendom and destroy the Christian faith” (Nicholson, 2004, p. 2). The first crusade was a blessing for the Christians because they were victorious in every war, they were able to take back Jerusalem in 1099 from the Muslims and before that they won so many other battels as well.

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According to the book by Nicholson (2004), The second and the third Crusade has started in 1146 and end in 1192 and it was a total failure in the holy land due to lack of adequate planning. The crusaders went to Constantinople and they had argument with the emperor and their ending was by the Turks they were all slaughter to death. After the second crusade no large expeditions went to the east. (p.12). the third crusade was also an unfortunate time for the crusaders because the leaders were having rivalry problems. The third crusade happen after the occupation of Saladin’s empire in Jerusalem in 1187 (p.12). Even though the crusaders didn’t capture the holy land because they were not that powerful in that time to hold the land against the Islam. Generally, the normal people participated in the third crusade and that also involves the women’s and the women were not afraid, “a women pretending to be a man…terrified, but I pretended not to be afraid” (Nicholson, 2004. P. 119)

The essential histories of the crusades by Nicolle (2001), stated in this book about the fourth crusade which was a success for the Christian because after the second and third crusade the holy land in Jerusalem was still in Muslims power. The fourth crusade was between the Christians because they were fighting with each other. In this book by Nicolle (2001), the fourth crusade which happens because they attacked Constantinople, the appoint time was now come and the knights went on board the transport ships with their war-horses. they were fully armed, with their helmets laced on while the horses were saddled. The people who were less important they were in the larger ships. On the other side Alexius (III) was waiting for them with army they were well prepared. But in order to reach the other side is thorough the transport ships. They had good archers and crossbowmen who were distributed in each ship. The Greeks were the one who turned their back when there was a meeting called of spears. The fourth crusade brings change to Constantinople and also led to the creation of “Latin Empire” (Nicolle, 2001. P. 39) and the Latin states in Greece and also the emergence of Byzantine in successors states in Nicaea, Epirus and Trebizond (p.39). after that effective military co-operation between Latin and orthodox, western and Eastern Christian became separate states. The leader of the crusaders told Pope Innocent III who has control over Constantinople that Innocent III will help them to cross the river t o reach to the Holy land in Jerusalem (Nicholson, 2004). However, the fourth crusade was not a success because they became greedy and they wanted to fight against the most powerful Islamic territory which was in Egypt. The crusaders remain in Constantinople and never went to Jerusalem to capture the holy land.

In this book by D’Costa (2014), it is stated that the Christian and the Muslims were devoted toward the same God. D’Costa (2014), clams in Lumen Gentium 16C (p. 160) that Muslims and Catholics believe in the same God and the church teaching about Islam is theological “worship with us the same God” (D’Costa, 2014.p.160). They believed that at the end of the day God the Almighty will be the one who will Judge human through humanity. In Nostra aetate 3 it is also mentioned that the creator of this world is God the almighty and the creator of Heaven and Hell. This council of the Muslims worshiping the same God which brings a “Radical Change” (D’Costa, 2014.p.161) in the catholic view of Islam. God is the creator of this universe as well as the human beings. The Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet not God. In Islam Jesus was a prophet who was sent by God into the womb of Virgin Mary and it is also believed in Islam that Jesus will be the only prophet after all prophet who will come to this earth before the end of the world. Jesus was doing the work that he was assigned it was for God. For example, in India it was banned for the Muslims to buy cow and the people who brought the cow they were killed and after that the people in india who were hindus they started to buy cow with the Muslims and they also eat the cow mean which is forbidden in their religion. But, talking about religion the humanity comes first. The people in India now doing protest because so many innocent people were killed and for that reason the prime minister is at blame. The crusades which last for about 200 years was because of the Holy land which was ruled by the Muslims and the Christians who wanted to reactivate it from the Muslims and the reason was that Jesus was born their and in history it was a disastrous war between Christian and Muslims. So many people were killed in that time the people were mostly illiterate what they see or what they heard or what they were told to do they did that by putting their head down.


  1. Nicholson, H. (2004). The Crusades Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.
  2. Nicolle, D. (2001). The Crusades (Essential histories (Osprey Publishing); 1). Oxford: Osprey.
  3. Heng, G. (2011). Holy War Redux: The Crusades, Futures of the Past, and Strategic Logic in the 'Clash' of Religions. PMLA, 126(2), 422-431
  4. Petkov, K. (1997). The rotten apple and the good apples: Orthodox, Catholics, and Turks in Philippe de Mézières' crusading propaganda. Journal of Medieval History, 23(3), 255-270.
  5. Gada, M. (2017). Muslim Responses to the Crusades: A Brief Survey of Selected Literature. Mediterranean Quarterly, 28(1), 117-129.doi: 10.1215/10474552-3882830
  6. Jotischky, A. (2017). Greek Orthodox monasteries in the Holy Land and their liturgies in the period of the crusades. Journal of Medieval History, 43(4), 438-454.
  7. Asbridge, T. (2004). The first crusade: A new history: [the roots of conflict between Christianity and Islam]. New York: Oxford University Press.
  8. D'Costa, G. (2014). Vatican II: Catholic doctrines on Jews and Muslims (First ed.).
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