Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Religious wars
Published: The economist; the economist.com http://www.grailwerk.com/docs/economistarticle.html
Level of Difficulty: ****
  1. State briefly the four stages through which the interpretations of the crusades has passed.
  2. Why did the army that took Jerusalem do so much damage to the countryside surrounding Antioch?
  3. What was the success of the first crusade attributed to?
  4. The writer claims there was practically no difference between the Muslims and the Christians in terms of ………………………………………………………………………………. (Contrary to popular belief)
  5. What did the Christian knights think the two purposes of the crusade was?
  6. What are the two reasons why the decision was taken to settle The Levant?
  7. Why did European knights institute systems of taxation?
  8. For what two reasons did historians long believe that the crusades were motivated by a desire to make a fortune?
  9. Did the view that the crusades were fought for material gain grow stronger or weaker in the post 1945 period?
  10. A. When could violence be justified acc. to St. Augustine and his devotees and why?             
B. Would Jacques Maritan have agreed with St. Augustine and his devotees? Why?
       11.   What Christian acts was the first crusade considered on a par with? Be specific
       12.    All general councils of The Catholic Church that convened from the 13th to the 16th century
                considered …………………………………………………………………….. a priority for success.
      13.   “By this kind of death, people could make it to Heaven who perhaps would never reach it
                in any other way.” said a Dominican preacher. What belief was this statement an expression
      14.    The two reasons for the acts of unspeakable horror during the crusades were ……………………..
      15.     Give one example of the atrocities that were committed during the crusades despite the
                the chivalric façade.
     16.     While condemning the violence, the writer has a word to say in justification of the crusaders.
                It is:
     17.     The writer reaches the conclusion that “the roots of ethnic violence have, in every case, lain
                in nationalism.” On what does he base this conclusion?
    18.      Why is it so vitally important to study and interpret the crusades acc. to the writer?
    This brilliant and timeless essay was written by Jonathan Riley- Smith, a professor of ecclesiastical history at Cambridge University and the author of several books on the crusades. It was published in The Economist on December the 23rd, 1995 (economist.com) and you are going to have locate it in The Economist arcive. Again, the text really comes alive with a teacher who has the depth and breadth of knowledge to discuss the issue but this doesn’t mean it can’t, otherwise, be done. The text helps to fill some of the gaps in students’ knowledge, and in the current climate, has once more become very topical. However, you will have to access the text off The Economist website: economist.com. Also, as with the previous text, the wealth of vocabulary should be dealt with while reading the text rather than via reams of exercises afterwards not to detract from the pleasure of reading and learning – which in fact enables the more successful acquisition of vocabulary.
  1. Religiously motivated, an early manifestation of European imperialism, a monstrous enterprise motivated by greed and a religious enterprise.
  2. They had struck out on their own with no system of provisioning.
  3. Divine intervention
  4. Atrocities
  5. To drive back Muslim Turks who had recently invaded Asia Minor and restore Jerusalem, lost for 350 years, to the Byzantine Empire.
  6. To defend the holy places the Crusade had won and to maintain a Christian presence in the holy land.
  7. To meet the bills and to provide subsidies
  8. They were blinded by an abhorrence of religious and ideological violence and their inability to comprehend that it could have had any appeal.
  9. Weaker.
  10. Violence as a means of opposing “injuries” and thus achieving justice could accord with divine providence.
  11. Prayer, works of mercy, fasting and a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
  12. Reform of the church.
  13. Christian culture had produced an ideology in which fighting was an act of self sanctification.
  14. The passions unleashed combined with the stresses of crusading.
  15. Take your pick from the next two paragraphs.
  16. They were pursuing an ideal that, however alien it seemed to later generations of historians, was enthusiastically supported at the time by such heavy weights as …
  17. In almost all Christian tribalism of recent years, there has been no specific ideology of holy war.
  18. If renewed aggressiveness among Muslims were to meet a revival of Christian theories of positive force, the results could be nasty.

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