Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith: The Crusades and Christianity
Professor Jonathan Riley Smith's Gifford lecture 'The Crusades and Christianity' reflects on the moral shift in opinion regarding the Crusades, and how the use of force is viewed in relation to Christian belief
Lecture title: The Crusades and Christianity
Date: 22 March 2007, 5.15pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre A, David Hume Tower, George Square, Edinburgh
Jonathan Riley-Smith will deliver a Gifford Lecture in the University of Edinburgh in 2006-2007. No tickets are necessary for this Lecture.
He is Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University.
The archbishop of Canterbury was only stating the obvious when he recently maintained that "most Christians would now say that...the crusades...or the religious wars in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were serious betrayals of many of the central beliefs of the Christian faith."
But for centuries the overwhelming majority of Latin Christians believed that qualified men had a moral obligation to take part in crusades and the modern consensus begs the question why most devout Christians from the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries saw no contradiction between taking the cross and their religion.
What motivated them?
Why do we think so differently?
What anyway are ‘the central beliefs of the Christian faith’ in relation to the use of force?