Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Perfección espiritual y guerra por la fe en el transcurso de la primera cruzada

Luis García-Guijarro Ramos


The First Crusade was a historical event which produced a good number of contemporary chronicles. Those written by participants and those composed by Benedictine monks in France some years after the events had taken place, explained the expedition to Jerusalem stressing the deep spiritual sense of the movement. It cannot be argued that ideology was not a basic impulse behind the first crusaders on the fact that the Gesta Francorum and other early texts expressed vaguely and dryly the ideological meaning of the crusade, and that only later chronicles developed to a great extent all these theological points. Guibert of Nogent and other Benedictine writers did not work from scratch; they merely and only explained with greater accuracy how war for the faith led to spiritual perfection. Most of the elements they referred to, as well as martyrdom, saintliness and indulgences which clearly reflected them, were not new. From the ninth century onwards they had frequently marked wars with the pagans. They could not thus be used as defining points for the crusade. The papacy was the unifying force behind previous developments, and so the meaning of the crusade necessarily relates back to it.

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