Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Religious Wars

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
User avatar
Rowan
Bibliophile
Posts: 1462
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
Preferred HF: Iron-Age Britain, Roman Britain, Medieval Britain
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Religious Wars

Post by Rowan » Tue November 20th, 2012, 1:40 pm

Okay let me start by stating this is meant to be a discussion, not a debate (nor a rant, really).

This morning I had my television tuned to the History Channel as I do most mornings. (No dissing the History Channel lol) I heard a very interesting statement made by a historian. I don't know who it was because my head was stuck in my closet searching for my boots. LOL But I thought it an interesting statement nonetheless, so I decided to come here and ask who agrees or disagrees and why.


"Of all of the wars fought over religion, the Crusades belong in a category by themselves."


Would you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?

The first thought that popped into my head as a potential reason is because the Crusades were Christians vs. Muslims whereas the other wars involving religion were Catholics vs. Protestants.

User avatar
Lisa
Bibliophile
Posts: 1153
Joined: August 2012
Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Post by Lisa » Tue November 20th, 2012, 2:16 pm

[quote=""Rowan""]
The first thought that popped into my head as a potential reason is because the Crusades were Christians vs. Muslims whereas the other wars involving religion were Catholics vs. Protestants.[/quote]

Your reason would make sense if we consider the question as restricted to a certain period of time/place(s).

I'm no expert on the subject, but the first thing that popped into my head was that the Crusades were actually mandated and encouraged by the Pope(s). I can think of other religious quarrels/wars that came about following certain Papal judgements/decisions, but these were more as a (sometimes inevitable) result rather than deliberate. I could just be talking rubbish though, mine is a rather vague knowledge :)

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue November 20th, 2012, 2:33 pm

I disagree. If that professor knew anything about Islam, he would see that they had many similar wars of religious conquest. The Old Testament is full of conquest movements with religious-themed motivation from the Jewish people against their enemies--it was from this scriptural basis that the Popes drew their crusade analogy.

I suppose the Crusades could be called unique in that they were carried out in contradiction to a faith that called for 'Loving your enemy'--not a problem for the various Islamic religious wars.

But really, all wars are about one group wanting what another group has, and using force to take it. Religion just gets invoked because, when you are asking people to die, the question of what comes after that is unavoidable.
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Tue November 20th, 2012, 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Kveto from Prague
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 919
Joined: September 2008
Location: Prague, Bohemia

Post by Kveto from Prague » Tue November 20th, 2012, 9:01 pm

I disagree as well. The historian is expressing a very Eurocentric point of view. It also assumes that you take the very narrow view of the crusades, that they started in 1095 and finished in 1291 and only count the crusades to the middle east. True, the numbered crusades were one of the few time the Christians were on the offensive. The majority of later crusades were attempts to repel Turkish invaders in Southern Europe. Christianity on the defensive.

As pointed out above, it fails to take into account all of the religious wars fought in other parts of the globe in the past and present.

but we may need more context for the statement, if the historian was speaking only of Christian Europeans then it is a bit clearer.

User avatar
princess garnet
Bibliophile
Posts: 1578
Joined: August 2008
Location: Maryland

Post by princess garnet » Tue November 20th, 2012, 9:08 pm

There's a book I read last year titled Seven Lies about Catholic History by Diane Moczar, who teaches at Northern Virginia Community College. There's a chapter on the Crusades.

User avatar
DianeL
Bibliophile
Posts: 1029
Joined: May 2011
Location: Midatlantic east coast, United States
Contact:

Post by DianeL » Wed November 21st, 2012, 1:45 am

If the point of a tag line is to market a show about the Crusades, a sensationalistic and narrowly interpreted view of history may well be a must. I've seen the ads too, and it's not exactly the stuff of dissertations; it's entertainment. That doesn't make it okay, but to hold this statement to any sort of scholarly analysis is beside the programmers' point. In any case, the statement itself is one of those technically-defensible declarations like saying to a bad actor, "your performance was *interesting*" or "such-and-such (whatever) is unique."

Depending on how one sets up the concept and determination of "category", sure, the Crusades (as Kveto points out, there is more than one way to define that designation, too) belong in one by themselves. So does any war, so does any ruler, so does any leaf or molecule or system of planets. It's a pretty meaningless phrase, but it *sounds* heavy with import, so it sells a show. Nothing new - over millennia now, popular perception still trades on certain stereotypes, facile (mis)interpretations, and misconceptions galore. This one, being empty, is probably a less important statement than the hard-trodden regurgitations and tropes that will probably comprise most of the content of the programming itself.
"To be the queen, she agreed to be the widow!"

***

The pre-modern world was willing to attribute charisma to women well before it was willing to attribute sustained rationality to them.
---Medieval Kingship, Henry A. Myers

***

http://dianelmajor.blogspot.com/
I'm a Twit: @DianeLMajor

User avatar
Rowan
Bibliophile
Posts: 1462
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
Preferred HF: Iron-Age Britain, Roman Britain, Medieval Britain
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Post by Rowan » Wed November 21st, 2012, 2:56 pm

Can you enlighten me as to the programme this statement was attached to? I have no idea. As I stated, my back was to the television and for some reason that statement was the only thing that stuck in my head. I have no clue what it goes with as far as programmes.

User avatar
princess garnet
Bibliophile
Posts: 1578
Joined: August 2008
Location: Maryland

Post by princess garnet » Thu November 22nd, 2012, 3:25 am

[quote=""Rowan""]Can you enlighten me as to the programme this statement was attached to? I have no idea. As I stated, my back was to the television and for some reason that statement was the only thing that stuck in my head. I have no clue what it goes with as far as programmes.[/quote]
It's titled along the lines of "History of Mankind" if I remember correctly.

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Mon February 25th, 2013, 7:31 pm

It's a lot more complicated than Muslims just peacefully minding their own business when Crusaders decided to wage a holy war and kill millions. History is never that simple. I second princess garnet's recommendation and MLE's post.

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4435
Joined: August 2008
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Post by Divia » Mon February 25th, 2013, 9:07 pm

[quote=""Rowan""]
"Of all of the wars fought over religion, the Crusades belong in a category by themselves."[/quote]

I take it to mean that it was large scale and lets face it some are still feeling the aftermath of it. It has left a bitter taste in many people's mouths and that was how long ago? How many crusades were there? 8? 9? I can't remember. I remember a child's one though. It even lasted longer than the 100 years war between England and France.

So yeah, I can see why it would be in its own special category.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

Post Reply

Return to “Debate/Rant Forum”