Christian And Islamic Conceptions Of Holy War Essay

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In 1095, at the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II preached the first crusade. This event set in motion a campaign that would dramatically change the face of Western Europe. The campaign necessitated mass mobilization to the East and the creation of an ideological counterpart. As a result, Urban II and his successors cast the expedition as a Holy War by drawing upon already established communal features. Pre-existing traditions that shaped the theological conceptions of Holy War emerged from diverse sources such as societal trends and the Emperor cults of the Roman Empire. Despite evidence depicting that established patterns influenced the evolution of Holy War, popular scholarship has displayed a striking tendency to portray jihad as endemic to Islam, while the crusades are often depicted as an aberration. Points of convergence depict the consolidation of these trends. Though the formalization of these traditions initially divided adherents from the majority of the pagan populace, the resultant conceptions of Holy War helped to unite people and enabled the legitimization of authority. Therefore, both Christian and Islamic conceptions of Holy War can be viewed as the realization of certain pre-established trends.
Islam was initially developed in relationship with paganism and this belief system shaped the evolution of Muslim Holy War. Though part of the Qur’an, the text outlining the fundamental beliefs of Islam, was delivered to Muhammad at Mecca, he was later

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