Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 3 of 3 items for

  • Author or Editor: John D. Cotts x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All


21st-century journalists, politicians, and terrorists have found the crusades to be a remarkably versatile point of reference when they consider religiously articulated violence in the modern world. This article will explore how recent academic historiography relates to and can better inform modern debates about geopolitics, the role of religion in political life, as well as the broader question of how scholars can meaningfully participate in those debates. Historians need to walk a fine line between taking religious experience seriously while also rejecting simple explanations that see religion as especially culpable in inspiring violence, and that portray such violence as an irrational return to the “medieval”. The various sections of the article provide a few key examples of recent controversies over religious violence, and situate both traditional and recent crusades historiography within a contemporary political context. It will be argued here that recent crusades scholarship has provided nuanced and dynamic accounts of crusading piety that can be used to reject simplistic explanations of religious violence as pre-modern, and as inherent in particular faith traditions.

In: International Journal of Military History and Historiography