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Crusading Spirituality in the Holy Land and Iberia, c.1095-c.1187

Crusading Spirituality in the Holy Land and Iberia, c.1095-c.1187

William J. Purkis
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    Crusading Spirituality in the Holy Land and Iberia, c.1095-c.1187
    Book Description:

    For much of the twelfth century the ideals and activities of crusaders were often described in language more normally associated with a monastic rather than a military vocation; like those who took religious vows, crusaders were repeatedly depicted as being driven by a desire to imitate Christ and to live according to the values of the primitive Church. This book argues that the significance of these descriptions has yet to be fully appreciated, and suggests that the origins and early development of crusading should be studied within the context of the `reformation' of professed religious life in the twelfth century, whose leading figures [such as St Bernard of Clairvaux] advocated the pursuit of devotional undertakings that were modelled on the lives of Christ and his apostles. It also considers topics such as the importance of pilgrimage to early crusading ideology and the relationship between the spirituality of crusading and the activities of the Military Orders, offering a revisionist assessment of how crusading ideas adapted and evolved when introduced to the Iberian peninsula in c.1120. In so doing, the book situates crusading within a broader context of changes in the religious culture of the medieval West. Dr WILLIAM PURKIS is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Birmingham.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-624-3
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xi)
  5. Map of Western Europe, the Mediterranean and the Latin East (c.1145)
    (pp. xii-xii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-11)

    In his seminal work on the changes in the religious life of the central Middle Ages, The Reformation of the Twelfth Century, Giles Constable argued that historians should adopt a new framework for understanding medieval religious experience:

    In looking at twelfth-century religious life, and the movement of reform, it is customary to put in the centre the highly institutionalized types of forms, above all the monks and canons, who led a strict community life, and to see the hermits, recluses, lay brothers, and members of the military orders as peripheral, with pilgrims, penitents, wandering preachers, and crusaders on the margins...

  7. CHAPTER ONE The Monastic Response to the First Crusade
    (pp. 12-29)

    On 7 October 1096 Pope Urban II addressed a letter to the brethren of the congregation of Vallombrosa. He was writing in response to news he had received about the desire of certain members of that congregation to join the armed pilgrims of the First Crusade who were setting out from the West to liberate Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the perceived oppression of Islam. It was Pope Urban’s intention to clarify to the Vallombrosans the Church’s position on participation in the crusade by those who had already sworn themselves to a monastic life:

    This is, indeed, the right...

  8. CHAPTER TWO The Foundations of Crusading Spirituality, 1095—c.1110
    (pp. 30-58)

    The anonymous author of the Gesta Francorum, who was writing shortly after the liberation of Jerusalem in 1099, began his eyewitness narrative of the First Crusade by describing the reaction to Pope Urban II’s proclamation of war in 1095:

    When now that time drew nigh, to which the Lord Jesus points out to his faithful every day, especially in the Gospel where he says If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me, there was a great stirring throughout all the regions of Gaul, so that if anyone with a...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Pilgrimage, Mimesis and the Holy Land, 1099—c.1149
    (pp. 59-85)

    The impact of the liberation of Jerusalem on western Christian mentalities was so profound that one contemporary even compared its significance to Christ’s redemption of mankind on the cross.¹ Although Pope Urban did not live to respond to the ultimate achievement of the First Crusade, his successor, Paschal II, was unequivocal in his praise of the militia Christiana: he portrayed the crusaders’ triumph as the fulfilment of scriptural prophecy and wondered at how ‘the eastern Church, after a long period of captivity, is now returned to the glory of its ancient liberty’.² Paschal’s reaction was indicative of the wider response...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR The Cistercian Influence on Crusading Spirituality, c.1128—1187
    (pp. 86-119)

    It has often been suggested that Quantum praedecessores, the letter by which Pope Eugenius III signalled the official proclamation of the Second Crusade, was of great significance to the institutional development of the crusading movement. Indeed, Giles Constable went so far as to say that Quantum praedecessores marked:

    a fundamental step in the development of the crusades and of crusading thought . . . Built on the growth and events of half a century, this bull set the pattern for the juridical development of the crusade and as such laid the basis of the crusade as an institution in European...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE The Introduction of Crusading to Iberia, 1095—c.1134
    (pp. 120-138)

    In the preceding four chapters it has been argued that the idea of Christo-mimetic Jerusalem pilgrimage was central to contemporary understandings of crusading to the East in the twelfth century. However, it is now accepted by most historians that crusading activity was by no means limited to the Levant, and was in fact extended to include a number of other theatres of war both within and without western Europe.¹ In order to establish how important pilgrimage was to the broader development of the crusade ideal, the following two chapters will now consider how crusading evolved when introduced to one of...

  12. CHAPTER SIX The Development of Crusading Spirituality in Iberia, c.1130—c.1150
    (pp. 139-178)

    In the previous chapter it was suggested that the first archbishop of Compostela, Diego Gelmírez, was acutely aware of the problems that the advent of crusading to the East had caused in the Iberian peninsula and that as a result he was one of a number of individuals who were instrumental in propagating the idea of the iter per Hispaniam in Iberia in the early 1120s. Diego is an intriguing character, whose political and ecclesiastical dealings led his modern biographer to describe him as ‘Saint James’s Catapult’, and it is perhaps not surprising that he played such a prominent role...

  13. Conclusion
    (pp. 179-184)

    Shortly after his release from a Cairo gaol, probably in the summer of 1103, the first crusader Odo Arpin of Bourges was travelling home to France with a number of years of campaigning and later incarceration in the East behind him. According to Orderic Vitalis, Odo Arpin had stopped en route for an audience with Paschal II, where he had sought the pope’s advice about his future spiritual welfare. Paschal was said to have acknowledged the penitential value of Odo Arpin’s endeavours in the Holy Land and described how the crusade had acted as a spiritually cleansing experience, but he...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 185-204)
  15. Index
    (pp. 205-216)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 217-217)