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Posted: June 24th, 2020

The War of Crusades and Their Influence on Modern Christianity

The War of Crusades and Their Influence on Modern Christianity

The Crusades were a series of religious wars that took place between the 11th and 13th centuries, mainly between Christian Europe and the Muslim world. The Crusades had various motives, such as reclaiming the Holy Land, defending Christian pilgrims, expanding trade routes, and asserting papal authority. The Crusades also had various outcomes, such as changing the political and cultural landscape of the Middle East, fostering cross-cultural exchanges, and shaping the identity and legacy of Christianity.

In this blog post, I will explore how the Crusades influenced modern Christianity in three aspects: theology, ethics, and ecumenism.


The Crusades challenged some of the core doctrines of Christianity, such as the nature of God, the role of violence, and the meaning of salvation. Some Christians justified the Crusades as a holy war sanctioned by God, while others condemned them as a sinful aggression against God’s will. Some Christians saw the Crusades as a way of fulfilling their religious duty, while others saw them as a way of earning their salvation. Some Christians viewed the Crusades as a sign of God’s favor, while others viewed them as a sign of God’s judgment.

The Crusades also stimulated theological debates and developments within Christianity, such as the doctrine of just war, the doctrine of indulgences, and the doctrine of purgatory. The doctrine of just war provided criteria for determining when war was morally permissible and how it should be conducted. The doctrine of indulgences offered remission of sins for those who participated in or supported the Crusades. The doctrine of purgatory offered a place of purification for those who died in the Crusades.

The influence of the Crusades on modern Christianity can be seen in how Christians today approach issues such as war and peace, violence and nonviolence, justice and mercy, and faith and works.


The Crusades also affected the moral values and practices of Christianity, such as the virtues of courage, humility, and charity. The Crusaders displayed courage in facing hardships and dangers in their quest for the Holy Land. They also displayed humility in recognizing their sins and seeking forgiveness from God. They also displayed charity in helping the poor and needy in their midst.

However, the Crusaders also committed atrocities and injustices against their enemies and allies alike. They massacred Muslims, Jews, Orthodox Christians, and other groups that they encountered or conquered. They plundered and destroyed cities, churches, mosques, and synagogues. They violated treaties and oaths that they made with other rulers or factions.

The influence of the Crusades on modern Christianity can be seen in how Christians today balance their moral obligations to God and to their neighbors. It can also be seen in how Christians today deal with issues such as human rights, religious freedom, tolerance, and diversity.


The Crusades also impacted the relations between different branches and traditions of Christianity, such as Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and Oriental Christianity. The Crusades widened the rift between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church that had already begun in 1054 with the Great Schism. The Crusades also created tensions between the Catholic Church and some of the Oriental Churches that had already separated from it in earlier centuries. The Crusades also paved the way for the Protestant Reformation that would challenge the authority and doctrines of the Catholic Church in the 16th century.

The Crusades also fostered dialogue and cooperation between different branches and traditions of Christianity, especially in response to the common threat posed by Islam. The Crusades also encouraged learning and exchange between different Christian cultures and languages, such as Latin, Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, etc.

The influence of the Crusades on modern Christianity can be seen in how Christians today seek unity and diversity within their faith. It can also be seen in how Christians today engage with other religions and cultures in a spirit of respect and dialogue.


The Crusades were a complex and controversial phenomenon that shaped the history and identity of Christianity. The Crusades influenced modern Christianity in various ways: theology, ethics, ecumenism. The Crusades offer both positive and negative lessons for Christians today: lessons on faithfulness and repentance; lessons on courage and humility; lessons on charity and justice; lessons on unity and diversity; lessons on dialogue
and respect.


Asbridge T., The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land (London: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., 2012).

Crawford P., The War for Souls: A History of Christian-Muslim Relations (London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2019).

Madden T.F., The New Concise History of the Crusades (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2005).

Riley-Smith J., What Were The Crusades? (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Tyerman C., God’s War: A New History of the Crusades (London: Penguin Books Ltd., 2007).


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