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The crusades began when numerous calls for help from the Holy Land, which resulted in a speech from Pope Urban II encouraging the people to join the Christians fighting for the holy land against the Muslims. The role of religion played a major role in the crusades. In this paper I am going to discuss the role of religion by explaining their religious meaning, motivates, manifest and the role of religious institutes.
Many Catholics live by a set of rules or reforms that are introduced when they are little. Sin is doing what is wrong according to God’s rule, when they sin, they must go to the church to talk to a priest who will offer penance. Penance plans a major role in the crusades, according to Deus Volt-Gods Will published in 1905 “Urban II announced that anyone who joined the Crusade for religious reason would be freed from such penance.” While penance is gained after you confess your sin that are forgiven, indulgences is temporal punishment for sins. Indulgence could only be granted by the popes or archbishop, and bishops. “During the middle of the eleventh century, Christians had recovered half of the peninsula, so the popes had limited the availability of indulgence to those who came from other lands to assist the Spanish in their business of reconquest.”(Crawford, Paul. “The Crusades.” Catholic Education Resource Center. N.p., 1997.Web. October, 21 2015. ) Meanwhile various people tried to identify the real motivates for such a holy war, if there was any. Pope Urban II speech at Clermont was gaining public support for a holy war against Christianity against Islam. “Pope Urban II spoke forcefully to church leaders and to the nobles of Europe on serval occasion, in favor of a holy war to the Middle East.” Majority could not read or write and agreed what civil leaders and religious told them. Everyone was called to help in this fight no matter how weak or poor you were. The warriors and the rich people were also asked to join in on the fight for the defense of the Eastern Christians. All Christians at home were told to support the people at work by praying and fasting.
There are plenty of religious motivates for a holy war. Helping the eastern Christians was one, Pope Urban II believed the first thing they should rescue the Christians for the East first. His successor Pope Innocent III wrote, “How does man love accordingly to a divine percept his neighbor as himself when, knowing his Christians brothers in faith and name are held by the perfidious Muslims and he does not devote himself to the task of freeing them?”(Madden, Thomas F. “The Real History of the Crusades.” The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts. N.p., n.d. Web. October 21 2015). Another religious motivates for the holy war was retrieving the true cross. The true cross was believed to be wood from the cross where Jesus was crucified. Many Christians thought it was discovered in Jerusalem during the reign of Constantine. When defeated at the Battle of Hattin, the Muslims took the true cross. After many attempts of trying to get the cross back, they failed and the True Cross hasn’t been in Christian’s possession.
There are many strong religious beliefs when examining the Crusade. One of those is the sewing the sign of the cross on cloths. The sewing of the cross displayed binding obligations and crusading vow entailed. “Ideally, the cross was worn and publicly displayed from the moment of taking the vow until the end of the crusade.” (Christoph Maier. Crusade Propaganda, and Ideology.) The cross was believed to symbolize the God and his power. It also stood for protection during this Holy War. The church promoted going to the holy land and taking the cross as it demonstrated Christian love and the devotion to God, meanwhile the knights were taught to be good Christian knights and undertake acts of love and charity. Sermons about the crusades were preached numerously. They preached about the crusades to recruit people, collect money and for prayers for the traveling crusaders. The most famous sermon was that preached by Pope II used to move listeners to conversion of religion and their lifestyle. Sermons delivered many important messages during this time. The sermons were said to take place in the public town squares because it was the easiest to reach large crowds. These sermons was propaganda to motivate people during the crusades.
The head over international faith and a collection of towns in central Italy. The papacy is the office held by the pope whom is over the Roman Catholic Church. Monastic order was composed of monks who served as knights. This order played a major role in expanding the Christendom into the Slavic lands. The Hospitaller were merchants from Italy, who wore white cross and protected the pilgrim who entered Jerusalem. The Templar Knights were French knights who wore a red cross and were housed on the grounds of Temple of Solomon, they were the first to perform military service.
The role of religion was the biggest factor in the Crusades. Many Christians believed that they were fighting for god and his land. Many people joined because Pope Urban II promised wiping away all their sins away if they went to fight with the Christians. This shows the role of religious meaning, motivates, manifest and the role of institutes.
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