procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Friday, May 09, 2008

those crazy crusaders!

i came across this map at justin's blog, found it a really helpful resource for understanding the scale of the different waves of empires in asia-europe-africa

reading Outline History of the Christian Church by Dorothea Jane Stephen (1938)* i noticed that after the saracens won back the middle east from the turks, they were more than willing to go back to good old days of ready trade with and hospitality to the pilgrims to the 'holy lands'.
The Crusaders, however, would not listen to their offer, but were bent on conquering the country. (p45)

one cannot help wondering what shape the middle east and the view of it by certain 'christian zionists' would be in today had the crusaders been happy to live happily side-by-side as they had, to a large extent, been doing for the 400 years beforehand. it feels as if a large extent of the muslim view of the west is shaped by the abhorent goings-on 1,000 years ago.

God willing, there will be a time when a better mutual understanding can be had.

*which i must add, bears an uncanny relation to my history of christian mission course

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Blogger helloitsme said...

After reading copious amounts on the crusades in the past few weeks, I have learnt that things were not so black and white as they seem.... like you said Saladin did have a 'treaty' in place for pilgrims to return.

The church leaders became hungry for more power and the people (sadly) accepted the pope's authority on all things - they didn't know any better. They thought they were doing the godly thing and taking back the promised land.... just like the nation of Israel did.

However with the crusades being made up of more and more military men.... I don't think all of them were Xns. They were out for the $$ and fame.
But, as Xns we do have to accept that they were fighting under the banner of JC.

However the 'what if' they had stopped fighting... would Islam have spread even more??
(Just throwing that one out there.... I have no idea)

Interesting to think about... how as Xns do we fight 'battles' on Christ's behalf?

Recommend the book 'The Knights Templar'... I borrowed it from your library.
(lots more recent stuff on the crusades... J Riley-Smith)

12:33 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

i guess my point is that there was a crucial point where Christians and Muslims were able to live side by side, where Christians were offered hospitality and protection whilst in the middle east, with Constantinople still being the centre of the eastern Roman empire.

but their all-or-nothing attitude led to irreconcilable differences, the effects of which are ongoing.

the massacring of many Jews and Muslims (as well as Eastern Christians when they sacked Constantinople instead of saving it) is forever a blight on Christendom, the scars of which are still felt deep in the psyche of many.

it didn't have to be that way.

8:54 pm  
Blogger Apple said...

Hey Dougy

that is a supercool 90sec visual. I is interesting to see the spread of the gospel, along with the spread of the other religions. It is reassuring to see that God has grown his kingdom, yet I cant help but be reminded about the many who are still lost and without Christ.

The book 'The Legacy of Jihad' would be an interesting one to read, re: the growth of Islam.

May Christ continue to be proclaimed to the ends of the earth.

I can't wait for college.... Nora came back the other night talking about "Steak night"!! oh man... hehe

2:26 pm  

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