God Wills It! Supplementary Divine Purposes for the Crusades according to Crusade Propaganda

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Abstract

It is well known that the crusades were represented as wars sanctioned by God, who helped the crusaders. At the same time, according to crusade propaganda, the liberation of the Holy Land was most probably not the only purpose of the crusades. Some sources allow us to affirm that the papacy and preachers had the idea that God would allow the crusaders to settle in Outremer only when they would merit it by the absence of sin. Furthermore, in the second half of the twelfth and, to a greater extent, in the thirteenth century, there was a spread of the idea that God could destroy the Saracens on his own, but was testing his faithful. In fact, all these ideas together suggested that, according to the propaganda, the liberation of the Holy Land was not considered to be God's only goal, for he also wished to bring to this land faithful people without sin who would settle there, elected by God.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-486
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Ecclesiastical History
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

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