Religion In The Crusades Essay

In the twelfth and thirteen centuries, expeditions of Christian Europeans fought to conquer their Holy Land, otherwise known as the Crusades. The Holy Crusades were known to be some of the bloodiest battles fought for a lengthy time of two hundred years. At this time religion was becoming a big factor in the meaning of fighting and having a more intimate connection with God. In this paper the discussion of what kind of role religion played in the Crusades will be discussed. Between the clothing that they wore, the visions and signs that were seen, and the sermons that were taught, it all comes to play a part in the symbolic role of religion during the Crusades.
The Latin word for crusader is crucesignatus. The meaning behind this word was when
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In choosing to follow such holy orders they would have to “unite pure diligence and firm perseverance” that would need to be untainted with the promise to accompany the martyrs who gave their souls for Jesus Christ (Military Orders, #2). A martyr was a person who suffered death due to their religious beliefs. Therefore, as knights, they needed to proclaim their Christianity with a pure heart of not being afraid to fight for Christ. The knights needed to seek Christ in all things. To be forgiven of their past sins and to be washed clean knowing that they could have a second chance to follow Him. The common phrase people said to crusaders was to “follow” Christ and was often used by Eudus of Chateauroux in sermons. He would refer back to Luke to reference picking up the cross. They were to be “soldiers of Christ.” Following Christ was an incentive to join the crusade. Being consumed by the love of Christ and ready to dies a sacrificial death was an exact imitation of the crucifixion. Dying like a martyr would not be for the sake of just dying but for the ultimate proof of one’s devotion to Christ (Portraying the Crusade, pg. …show more content…
Everyone would, therefore, assemble as a congregation as the chosen brother spoke about any issue or affair (Military Orders, #’s 1,2,3,6). In model sermons, it portrayed the crusade and the crusader as more of a devotional and moral aspect of life. Sermons portrayed only the good that could come from fighting and how it related to biblical times. They would include historic and biblical characters to illustrate how God influenced and controlled situations. They are two Old Testament stories that “served as a foil” for the crusaders. The conquest of the Promise Land by the Israelites after the exodus of Egypt and the fight of the Maccabees against the enemies of Israel are the two examples to show how it was wars fought by God’s people led by the Lord (Portraying the Crusade 55). Often times, they would reference the Old Testament as biblical examples due to the military heroes. The sermons were characterized as an obligation by love. “The Lord enlarged their hearts through his love so that they could contain the Lord.” For example, James of Vitry suggested how the cross was sewn onto their garments “by the thread of God’s love.” Authors try to explain the crusader’s spiritual quest through the mutual love they share when taking up the cross (Portraying the Crusade, pg.

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