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Conflict, Conquest, and ConversionTwo Thousand Years of Christian Missions in the Middle East$
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Reeva Spector Simon and Eleanor Tejirian

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231138659

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231138659.001.0001

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The Latin West in the Middle East

The Latin West in the Middle East

Pilgrimage, Crusade, and Mission

(p.25) Two The Latin West in the Middle East
Conflict, Conquest, and Conversion

Eleanor H. Tejirian

Reeva Spector Simon

Columbia University Press

This chapter begins in the eleventh century, when Western Christianity expanded north and eastward, the reconquest of Spain proceeded, and Europe began a process of increasing its influence on the Middle East with the Crusades. The Crusades, preached in France by Pope Urban II in 1095, marked the first attempt by the Roman Church to retake the Holy Land, Jerusalem, and the Middle East. This first foray, lasting two hundred years, was ultimately a failure, and Islam consolidated its hold on the region, expanding it with the rise of the Ottoman Empire. By the 1220s, Gregory IX and Pope Innocent IV expanded the pope's jurisdiction canonically by virtue of natural law to enforce conformity in faith among all human souls. Missionaries were sent to Muslims as well as to schismatics—Bulgarians, Georgians, Armenians, and Nestorians in the East. The belief that Christianity was the true faith also provided Francis of Assisi and later French king Louis IX the rationale for face-to-face missionizing during the Seventh Crusade (1248–1254) and Eighth Crusade (1270), thereby extending proselytization well beyond the borders of Christendom.

Keywords:   Christianity, Crusades, Middle East, Muslims, Christians, Pope Urban II, Jerusalem, Holy Land

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