Friday, November 20, 2009

Stark Assessment


Cathy Lynn Grossman over at USA Today covered Rodney Stark's God's Battalions: the Case for the Crusades.

Stark, author of 27 books on religion and history, is professor of social sciences at
Baylor University. In his latest book he takes issue with modern revisionist history to set the record straight that the Crusades were not a bunch of Frenchmen making an unprovoked attack on peace-loving Mohammedans in the Holy Land.

"All of a sudden (in the 700s) you had all these Muslims coming out of Arabia and conquering the Middle East and North Africa," Stark observes. "That was most of Christendom -- there were more Christians in the Middle East and North Africa than in Europe at the time." In short, the Crusades were a reaction a few hundred years in the making to unprovoked acts of aggression by marauders who erupted out of the Arabian desert.

Certainly the taking of Jerusalem was an excessively bloody affair.

It almost rivaled the atrocities committed against Christians following their defeat at Manzikert in 1071.

It is far short of the murderous activities of modern secular states.

Aside: I've added Stark's book to
my wish list.

Crusaders in Battle


Kindred Spirit said...

I really like this post, Sean, so much so that I linked it from my blog. Deus vult! (Thank you!)

Sean said...

Very kind