The Crusading Experience, 1098-1492

Through a discussion of readings, and an analysis of translated primary documents, we will consider the ways in which the Crusades shaped and were shaped by the religious and cultural life in Europe and the Middle East from the late 11th to the late 15th century. Participants will examine religious motivations behind the arduous task of crusading and how they changed over time, reflecting the transition from the medieval to the early modern era. The seminar will then turn to the cultural interaction and exchanges generated by the Crusades, their impact on Christian and Muslim societies on both sides of the conflict, and their enduring legacy today. In so doing, this seminar will use the Crusades as a tool for exploring pertinent contemporary issues such as religion and violence and cross-cultural interactions.