Madden: Inventing the Crusades

This is a great little article from Thomas Madden, a professional historian of the Crusades. It appeared in First Things 194 (Summer 2009). I love how he approaches the topic. Here are a few select quotes:

“The truth is that medieval Muslims came to realize the Crusades were religious but had little interest in them. When, in 1291, Muslim armies removed the last vestiges of the Crusader Kingdom from Palestine, the Crusades largely dropped out of Muslim memory.” (Madden 2009: 43)

“All the Crusades met the criteria of just war.” (42)

“In the Middle East, as in the West, we are left with the gaping chasm between myth and reality [regarding the Crusades].” (44)

“The Crusades were a medieval phenomenon with no connection to modern Islamist terrorism.” (41)


Drew said…
I just finished reading Rodney Stark's new book on the crusades, God's Battalions, and Stark argues all of the same points. It's amazing how readily Christians will apologize for the Crusades when confronted by a misinformed accuser even though the facts paint a different picture.
Abu Daoud said…
Thanks for the comment Drew. Please share though--what about Stark's book struck you as a central point or fact that people ignore today?

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