Monks, the Pope, and the Origins of the Crusades

Monks, the Pope, and the Origins of the Crusades

A Selection from Christianity (Penguin Tracks)

Format
ePub
Price
$2.99
 
Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9781101630877
  • 56  Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

A fascinating history of the growth in monastic and papal power that preceded the Crusades—excerpted from Diarmaid MacCulloch’s award-winning New York Times bestseller, Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.

A product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill, Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years stretches from the Greek Platonists and the origins of the Hebrew Bible to the present and encompasses the globe. In this excerpt, MacCulloch chronicles the rise of monasteries like the great Cluny Abbey, which formed orders that reached across secular kingdoms, enjoying exclusive papal privileges and encouraging their followers to make pilgrimages among towering cathedrals and far-flung shrines. Meanwhile, the introduction of the tithe, expanding control over marriage, and a new emphasis on Purgatory brought penitent parishioners even closer to the Church and dependent on ministry. By the time Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade, the practice of indulgences had made possible his grant that all who died in a state of repentance and confession while fighting would gain immediate entry into heaven. Holy War spawned whole new orders, most famously the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller, as soldiers from across Europe joined the campaigns of conquest toward Jerusalem. The many causes and consequences of these clashes between Christianity and Islam are captured here in illuminating detail with elegance and wit.

Diarmaid MacCulloch’s latest book, Silence: A Christian History, is available from Viking.
Monks, the Pope, and the Origins of the Crusades

Monks, the Pope, and the Origins of the Crusades

Diarmaid MacCulloch

Awards

Cundill Prize – Winner

Praise

Praise for Christianity

“Immensely ambitious and absorbing.”
—Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

“A landmark contribution . . . It is difficult to imagine a more comprehensive and surprisingly accessible volume than MacCulloch’s.”
—Jon Meacham, The New York Times Book Review

“A prodigious, thrilling, masterclass of a history book. MacCulloch is to be congratulated for his accessible handling of so much complex, difficult material.”
—John Cornwell, Financial Times

“A tour de force: it has enormous range, is gracefully and wittily written, and from page one holds the attention. Everyone who reads it will learn things they didn’t know.”
—Eamon Duffy, author of Saints and Sinners

“MacCulloch brings an insider’s wit to tracing the fate of official Christianity in an age of doubt, and to addressing modern surges of zeal, from Mormons to Pentecostals.”
—The Economist

“A triumphantly executed achievement. This book is a landmark in its field, astonishing in its range, compulsively readable, full of insight even for the most jaded professional and of illumination for the interested general reader. It will have few, if any, rivals in the English language.”
—Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

“A well-informed and—bless the man—witty narrative guaranteed to please and at the same time displease every single reader, if hardly in identical measure. . . . The author’s prose style is fluent, well-judged, and wholly free of cant. . . . You will shut this large book with gratitude for a long and stimulating journey.”
—The Washington Times

“A tour de force . . . The great strength of the book is that it covers, in sufficient but not oppressive detail, huge areas of Christian history which are dealt with cursorily in traditional accounts of the subject and are unfamiliar to most English-speaking readers. . . . MacCulloch’s analysis of why Christianity has taken root in Korea but made such a hash in India is perceptive and his account of the nineteenth-century missions in Africa and the Pacific is first-rate and full of insight. . . . The most brilliant point of this remarkable book is its identification of the U.S. as the prime example of the kind of nation the reformers hoped to create.”
—Paul Johnson, The Spectator
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