My Crusades article on Crisis

I forgot this post this here. Crisis Magazine posted my review of a new book on the Crusades by Steve Weidenkopf

“The idea that faith provided cultural coherence in a land without nation-states is very foreign to the modern Western mind. Today the cultural unity organized around “America” or “democracy” is considered valid and primary. Faith is seen as valid only tenuously and certainly second in importance to the nation-state. This difference allows many commenters to blithely decry religious violence as the reprehensible action of “extremists,” while turning an uncritical eye to the ethics of wars waged by states in the name of “democracy.”

So the distinction between “religious violence” and other violence turns out to be a red herring. The standard that makes such acts acceptable or unacceptable is not the name in which the conflicts are waged, but rather the adherence to Just War tenets: is there a just cause for the war? Is it defensive in nature? Is violence used as a last resort? Is there proportionate cause? Is there a reasonable chance of success? Are the principles of justice within war followed such as attacking only combatants?”

Read it all here:


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