God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades

God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
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Stark, Rodney

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Listen to John J. Miller interview Rodney Stark. (National Review)

Product Description: This book takes on the current vogue in liberal thinking to argue that, in fact, the Crusades were not unprovoked. They were not the first round of European colonialism. They were not conducted for land, loot, or converts. The Crusaders were not barbarians who victimized the cultivated Muslims. They sincerely believed that they served in God's Battalions.

In the wake of many recent books justifying Muslim holy wars by criticizing the historic use of violence by Christians, Stark presents the other side of the story. Drawing upon a wide variety of sources, Stark argues the facts and figures about why and how Christianity attempted to secure the Holy Lands and protect the safety of Christian pilgrims.

288 Pages
Published March 2009

About the Author

RODNEY STARK is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. His twenty-seven books on the history and sociology of religion include The Rise of Christianity; Cities of God; For the Glory of God (which won the 2004 Award of Merit for History/Biography from Christianity Today); Discovering God which won the 2008 Award of Merit for Theology/Ethics from Christianity Today); and The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success.

Book Details

288 Pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Publication Date: March 2009
ISBN 10: 0061582611
ISBN 13: 9780061582615

GOD’S BATTALIONS launches a frontal assault on the comfortable myths that scholars have popularized about the crusades. The results are startling. His greatest achievement is to make us see the crusaders on their own terms.
- PHILIP JENKINS, AUTHOR OF THE LOST HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY

At last, a convincing, balanced book on the Crusades, far from the recent unsophisticated and ideological diatribes against them as “A Bad Thing.” Rodney Stark demonstrates that the Crusades were neither unprovoked nor colonialist. Here is yet another rich and readable book from this thoughtful and distinguished author.
- JEFFREY BURTON RUSSELL, AUTHOR OF A HISTORY OF HEAVEN AND PARADISE MISLAID

An excitingly readable distillation of the new, revisionist Crusades historiography.
- BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW)

There is much to be learned here. Filled with fascinating historical glimpses of monks and Templars, priests and pilgrims, kings and contemplatives, Stark pulls it all together and challenges us to reconsider our view of the Crusades.
- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“[Stark’s] new book, God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades, gives historic and sociological evidence for a fresh assessment of the Crusades.”
- UNITED METHODIST REPORTER

“[Stark] wants to challenge the prevailing television pundit-level misunderstanding of the Crusades, and in this, his accessible, enjoyably argued book succeeds.”
- CHRISTIANITY TODAY

“Award-winning author and sociologist Rodney Stark humbly goes to war against the many politically correct myths surrounding the history of the Crusades in this well-researched and easy-to-read academic masterpiece. Stark proves himself once again as a historical myth-buster.”
- CBN.COM, A+ RATING

“[Stark] makes the case [for the crusades] with admirable frankness and flair.”
- THE CATHOLIC THING

Rodney Stark turns what we “know” about history on its head.
- RELEVANT MAGAZINE

“Stark’s style is clear and direct. He sets the pace of narrative masterfully...The result is a good read...Christian readers should welcome Stark’s affirmation of the best in scholarship, both old and new, and his willingness to argue a controversial position.”
- CHRISTIAN SCHOLAR’S REVIEW

“Stark’s wonderfully readable prose and politically incorrect conclusions... point us to the question—Will 21st-century infiltration lead to surrender or revival?—on which Europe’s future hinges.”
- THE WORLD MAGAZINE

“[God’s Battalions] rewards a careful reading, and not only because the story itself is so gripping, with tales of courage and desperation, outsized characters, and fate of cultures hanging in the balance. …Masterful… sets the record straight.”
- NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER

“[God’s Battalions] avoid[s] the black-and-white nonsense of current secular thinkers, who condemn the Crusades as part of their condemnation of the Catholic Church and of much later Western imperialism. …Stark demonstrate[s] a more sophisticated view of history, religion and culture.”
- CATHOLIC SAN FRANCISCO

“Stark’s clear, factual narrative offers larger-than-life characters…. [his] works are an encouraging corrective to the anti-Western history routinely taught in our schools.”
- NEW OXFORD REVIEW