Why Muslims See the Crusades So Differently from Christians - HISTORYRiley-Smith, Jonathan. The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam. New York: Cambridge University Press, In The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam , Jonathan Riley-Smith has provided a succinct, powerful work that helps us understand the historical memory of the Crusades in both the Western and Islamic worlds. Given the sensitivities over the Crusading era with both Christians and Muslims, the author does a remarkable job at correcting common misperceptions in both groups. The author begins with the misperceived uniqueness of the Crusades, that is, the sanctioning of holy war was not an aberration in the history of Christianity.
Introduction to the Crusades
Rescuers, Not Invaders
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Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam. New York: Cambridge University Press, In The Crusades, Christianity, and.
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We don't really know what the message was but can pretty safely guess that it asked them to travel to the East in order to "liberate" Jerusalem by force. Image after Illuminated manuscript. After the Christians conquered Jerusalem in CE, massacring many of the inhabitants, the task of understanding why they'd been successful and what it all meant fell to the historians. Histories about the journey to the East spread like wildfire, with a first wave written by people who seem to have been participants, then a second wave by monks in Europe.
Not so for the medieval holy wars called the Crusades. Muslim forces ultimately expelled the European Christians who invaded the eastern Mediterranean repeatedly in the 12th and 13th centuries—and thwarted their effort to regain control of sacred Holy Land sites such as Jerusalem. Still, most histories of the Crusades offer a largely one-sided view, drawn originally from European medieval chronicles, then filtered through 18th and 19th-century Western scholars. But how did Muslims at the time view the invasions? Not always so contentiously, it turns out. And what did they think of the European interlopers? Suleiman Mourad: If we wrote the history of the Crusades based on Islamic narratives, it would be a completely different story altogether.
Add to Cart. Beginning in the eleventh century and ending as late as the eighteenth, these holy wars were waged against Muslims and other enemies of the Church, enlisting generations of laymen and laywomen to fight for the sake of Christendom. Crusading features prominently in today's religio-political hostilities, yet the perceptions of these wars held by Arab nationalists, pan-Islamists, and many in the West have been deeply distorted by the language and imagery of nineteenth-century European imperialism. With this book, Jonathan Riley-Smith returns to the actual story of the Crusades, explaining why and where they were fought and how deeply their narratives and symbolism became embedded in popular Catholic thought and devotional life. From this history, Riley-Smith traces the legacy of the Crusades into modern times, specifically within the attitudes of European imperialists and colonialists and within the beliefs of twentieth-century Muslims. Scott portrayed Islamic societies as forward-thinking, while casting Christian crusaders as culturally backward and often morally corrupt. Michaud, in contrast, glorified crusading, and his followers used its imagery to illuminate imperial adventures.