Starting in the late 11th Century, the First Crusade marked a significant shift in the relationship between Christianity as a religious tradition and its relationship to political power. On the surface, the crusades that spanned a series of religiously-motivated military campaigns from the 11th to 13th centuries that sought to reclaim the Holy Land from Islamic rule. The reality was far more complicated, and the social, political, and religious impact would be felt for many centuries later.
This course explores the background as to the circumstances leading up to the crusades, the military campaigns themselves, the collateral damage, and the social impact they had on both Western and Middle-Eastern societies. Exploring all of this, this seminar hopes to shed some light on what is widely regarded as a dark time in history.