Crusader Complex

An Old Book Cures Oversimplification

Sometimes an old book can shed some indirect light on a contemporary question. In this case, the old book is Steven Runciman's A History of the Crusades (3 volumes, 1950-1954).

In discussions about Islam and the West today, two extreme opinions often emerge: (1) the "Western guilt" position (all problems with the Islamic world are caused by Western imperialism); and (2) the "West is the best" position (Islam embodies values alien to the West, and therefore not merely terrorists but Islam as such must be opposed). These views are often reflected in historical assessments of the Crusades. Champions of the first view see the Crusades almost wholly in terms of...


received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He writes on education, politics, religion, and culture.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #33, Summer 2015 Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


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