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New Medieval Books: Crusades and Violence

Crusades and Violence

By Megan Cassidy-Welch

ARC Humanities Press
ISBN: 9781641894753

A look at how violence was viewed and remembered by those involved in the crusades. This book argues that one should not just view this violence through the prism of religion, but see how it fits in with how medieval people viewed acts of violence and its limitations.


Overall then, this book argues that although just/holy war theory remains of value in helping us to understand how and why the limits of war were articulated in some medieval intellectual and clerical circles, it is in texts that try to make sense of events, communicate the importance of religious warfare, stimulate remembrance and future action, and communicate personal experiences at war, that we can uncover how medieval people debated and wrestled with the idea and practice of violence and its limits. Simply put, crusading was not thought by its participants to be an opportunity for a violent free for all just because it came with divine authority and the apparatus of just/holy war theory.


Who is this book for?

One should read this work as a long essay, trying to show how we can apply relatively new views on medieval violence towards the crusades themselves. For those interested in medieval violence, this book will offer more compelling arguments in these new views. For those interested in the crusades, this book will challenge some long held views about why the crusaders killed and committed acts of violence.

The author:

Megan Cassidy-Welch is a Professor of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Australian Catholic University. Her work on the crusades and violence also includes the book War and Memory at the Time of the Fifth Crusade, which was published in 2019. You can learn more about her work through her university webpage or follow Megan on Twitter/X @mcassidywelch


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