Taking Back the Holy Land, Religiously or for the Sword
The Crusades have been a heated and debated topic for centuries. The main reason the crusades started was because of religious factors and the promise of indulgences by going to the Holy Land and defending all of Christendom from the infidels (p. 102). This brings us to a second point which is, the personal gain for Christians in the East and an expansion of economic and territory to the East (p. 111). Christians wanted to take back the Holy Land from the Moslems and reclaim it for Christendom. The crusades affected Christian Medieval Europe on every fiber, but were the Christians crusades motivated by religious factors or by bloodlust and plunder?
There is no question that the crusades have been motivated by religious factors. History tells us that the Christians wanted to send pilgrims and take back the Holy Land from the Moslems (p. 102). The papacy told everyone in Europe that if they fought and reclaimed the Holy Land they would receive an indulgence, which would wash away some of or all of a sin (p. 104). In this way the papacy would lure people to join the quest to retake the Holy Land. By taking on this quest one would receive an indulgence and he may also kill the heathens desecrating the Holy Land (p.108).
Hans Eberhand Mayer takes a stance on views that the crusades were motivated by religious factors. For one the Christian Churches in the West wanted to help the Christian Churches in the East (p. 102). When the papacy finally had the power to help these churches, men had a clearer view of what must happen and that was to free the Holy Land from these infidels (p. 102). The papacy went on a recruiting mission that would turn into a crusade and gather people on the way (p. 104). There were also peaceful pilgrimages that one could go to better the Holy Lands and become closer to God (p. 104). The church would tell people that Jerusalem was controlled by heathens and must be conquered and reclaimed by the Christian name. This was a huge way for the church to send people to Jerusalem, because no one but the Christians should control this land (p. 104). This was huge for the church and before they knew it they had many people on pilgrimages and crusading to the Holy Land. Also the fear of God’s temporal punishment scared many people into going to Jerusalem (p. 106). When a crusader would take up arms and fight the Moslems they were granted a permanent indulgence from the church, and with this indulgence they could wipe away any sins they received at any time and battle the Moslems (p.107). “The absolution given in the sacrament of penance took from him the guilt; taking the cross meant the cancellation of all the punishment even before he set out to perform the task imposed” (p. 108). Anyone with absolute faith in the church would believe the church could grant these indulgences (p. 109).
While the Holy Land had been taken by the Moslems and the papacy wanted...