The Great And Holy War : How World War I Became A Religious Crusade

929 Words Nov 30th, 2015 4 Pages
Philip Jenkins was a prominent scholar from Baylor University in the leading field of religious studies. Jenkins, in his book The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade, focused on a different aspect of the Great War from 1914 to 1918, which took away millions of lives. Other than the usual aspects of the Great War, Jenkins took a deep look into the religious perspective of the war. Namely, Christianity, Judaism and Islam played their respective roles in the areas of Western Europe, Africa, Middle East and some parts of South and Southeast Asia. As he started with the pre-war military tension between the major powers of Europe, Jenkins moved further onto the point that the church and state did not a have separable relationship even after the famous Thirty Years’ War back in the 17th century. During the course of the war, Christianity greatly declined while part of the institution survived in the old Christian world. The people on the war and home front both relied on Christianity for spiritual support. However, as the casualties greatly increased and more families lost their sons and fathers, the power and care of God was brought under question and thus the influence of the church decreased sharply. Towards the end of the war, Christianity turned to different paths in Western and Eastern Europe: thinkers had new interpretations of the religion as communism overthrew the old institution and wiped out the Orthodox church overnight. At the same time,…

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