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An argument against selecting facts to fit a political/philosophical agenda, but not evidence of an academic conspiracy to demonize Christianity.)My problem may stem from the book’s subtitle: “The Case for the Crusades.” The case for the Crusades?Is he seriously arguing that a religiously motivated military campaign (jihad) is justified? That “during the Crusades, an expansionist, imperialistic Christendom brutalized, looted, and colonized a tolerant and peaceful Islam” (p. Twenty years ago I was entering the world of Medieval Studies as a UCLA grad student.
That day he was said to have shed tears of grief as he led his people in prayer.
The manuscript also shows Richard the Lionheart - leader of the Third Crusade - to have been no brutish hothead, but a canny and agile negotiator.
Amazing as it now sounds, from the later Middle Ages onwards, citizens of Jerusalem had been taking this Life Of Saladin home to read; and over the years some had even left their mark on its pages, inscribing comments ranging from 'Praise be to Allah' to 'It's raining today'.
For me, the experience of actually holding a manuscript written by a man who knew the great Sultan Saladin, who witnessed the Third Crusade first-hand, was simply electrifying.
Nor would any student of the period argue that purely material interests motivated the Crusaders.
Did the Marxist/materialist interpretation dominate a certain era of historiography? But like all academic fevers, this too passed (though not without a lot of groundbreaking and revelatory data in its wake).During a flurry of diplomatic exchanges, King Richard proposed an extraordinary marriage alliance between his sister Joan and Saladin's brother al-Adil.This union would form the basis of a peace agreement in which 'the sultan should give to al-Adil all the coastal lands that he held and make him king of Palestine', with Jerusalem to serve 'as the seat of the royal couple's realm'.Though, perhaps, she too is as guilty as Stark of slanting her own interpretations.(I tend to agree with Stark’s assessment: IMO, Armstrong, in her recent work on Islam, has evinced an annoying tendency to whitewash its “sins” in comparing it to Christianity.Even back then, there was no serious expert in the field who would argue that provocations, massacres, brutality, looting, rape, etc.didn’t occur on all sides, that anyone had the moral high ground.In fact, the I wonder why Rodney Stark wrote this book. 4) trend in Crusader studies that characterizes the Muslim world as the innocent and culturally and morally far superior victim of this first manifestation of European colonialism.That “during the Crusades, an expansionist, imperialistic Christendom brutalized, looted, and colonized a tolerant and peaceful Islam” (p. Twenty years ago I was entering the world of Medieval Studies as a UCLA grad student. 1100-1400) and this very region (the Mediterranean) were the areas I was interested in.I first fell in love with crusading history as a schoolboy and continue to be fascinated by these medieval holy wars. For me, the Crusades, the wars fought between Christians and Muslims for possession of the Holy Land between 10, have it all - the power to thrill and shock through tales of epic adventure, appalling brutality and intense human drama; and the capacity to ignite and sustain curiosity in the way they impact upon 'big history' themes like the clash of civilisations and the causes of religious violence.After the publication of my recent general history of the Crusades, I was approached by an independent production company with a view to developing a television series based on my work.