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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe
(1989)

I: The Legal and Political Theory of the Crusade,   pp. 3-38 PDF (14.2 MB)


Page 31

Ch. I THE LEGAL AND POLITICAL THEORY OF THE CRUSADE 31 
accessible, and conquered, what would have been the status of its Mos1cm
inhabitants in Christian legal theory? 
 Beginning with Innocent IV there developed a theory of papal jurisdiction
over non-Christians, and even over non-Christian states, which was soon elaborated
into a theory of world monarchy by canonists busy with the task of extending
papal authority. There was a steady growth in self-serving legal arguments
that non-Christian states had to allow the entry of missionaries, that their
Christian subjects came under direct papal authority — although it
was never clear whether this was a political or only spiritual authority
— and that this applied not only to those territories that had once
been held by Christian rulers, but to any lands whatsoever.53 Such discussions
said nothing about subject Moslems in such states, or what might happen if
such states fell into Christian hands, but there can be little doubt of the
consequences. If the toleration of Moslems was only tactical, the "ultimate
war aim" must inevitably have been the same as the commission to the apostles,
the conversion of all unbelievers. The Jews, thanks to Romans 11:25—26,
could count on being left till last, but Moslems would certainly have been
reduced to submission, on the ground that nonChristians have no right to
lordship and that they "persecuted" or "attacked" Christianity by existing
at all (and no doubt would in any case have attacked Christendom often enough);
once in submission they would have been subject to conversion, that is, compelled
to listen to preaching, and to discrimination, until, as happened in Spain4n-the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and had happened in Italy in the thirteenth
and fourteenth centuries, they had ceased to exist as Mosjems. If we concede
that "recovery" was the primary concept, then "conversion" (by war initially)
was soon so firmly rooted as to become itself essential to the idea of the
crusade. The political theory of the crusade was quite simply the infinite
extension of Latin Christendom. 
 This is speculation, based on implication, but the close link between legal
and political thought makes it reasonably certain. Can we speculate further?
Uthred of Boldon, a monk of Durham and scholastic of the fourteenth century,
was censured for discussing the possibility that Moslems, Jews, and pagans
might be saved de communi lege; this was classed as error.54 William Langland
maintained that a "true man" 
 53. For further references to Innocent IV see Kedar, op. cit., pp. 159—161,
and on toleration generally pp. 76ff., 146 if., and passim; see also Walter
Ullmann, Medieval Papalism: the Political Theories of the Medieval Canonists
(London, 1949), pp. 114—137. For an interesting discussion of the whole
concept of a "just war" see Frederick H. Russell, The Just War in the Middle
Ages (Cambridge, Eng., and New York, 1975). 
 54. M.D. [i.e., David] Knowles, "The Censured Opinions of Uthred of Boldon,"
Proceed- 


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