Crusading, the Crusader and the Christian Order - Album

SKU: 3360D-00-AL


Part 01 - The Ancient Roots of the Crusading Spirit

Dr. John Rao begins by arguing that aspects of the crusading spirit are natural to man, and that it was also alive in the ancient world already. Cyrus the Great, Isocrates and Alexander the Great, historians like Polybius, and the Maccabees all illustrate examples of a crusading spirit or a call to a crusade. 

Part 02 - Early Christian Crusading and Late Antiquity

Christianity made the crusading spirit into a battle for the construction of a soul that was fit to live eternally with God, and the creation of a social order that could aid such an ascent to the Divine. Dr. John Rao shows how Christianity's appearance on the scene unleashed bitter hatred on the part of a "Grand Coalition of the Status Quo" which did not want to allow such a Crusade for a supernatural purpose to win out over the hunt for mundane "success." Christians had to fight a battle versus paganism and satisfaction with a limited and drab materialist existence simultaneously.

Part 03 - The Maturation of the Crusading Consciousness - Part I

Dr. John Rao describes the maturation of the idea of Crusading. This process of maturation is shown to have taken hundreds of years, from the 600's through the 1000's. Maturation involved the Heraclian "Crusade" versus the Zoroastrian Persian invaders of the Eastern part of the Empire in the early Seventh Century. Icons were symbols used in crusading at this time.

Part 04 - The Maturation of the Crusading Consciousness - Part II

The arrival of Islam into the Mediterranean world of the Seventh Century also aided in the shaping of Crusading concepts. Dr. John Rao shows in great detail that Islam is a terribly divided religion, but that its idea of Holy War does play a role within it, and one to which Christians were obliged to respond. 

Part 05 - The Maturation of the Crusading Consciousness - Part III

 Dr. John Rao explains that the monks of Cluny aided the maturation process enormously, teaching rough soldiers how they could use their military skills for acceptable purposes. The Pilgrimage to Compostella became a training ground for Crusaders. Also, Moslem Sufi Brotherhoods, some of them very militant, taught how spiritual and military activity could go together.  

Part 06 - The Great Crusades and the Crusading Dilemma - Part I

Dr. John Rao speaks on the dilemmas emerging from the Great Crusades show just how much the Papacy saw fighting as only one part of the Crusading Movement. Popes like Innocent III believed that Christian failures in the Crusade required a more serious intellectual and spiritual fight for transformation in Christ and a crusade against sin in the political and social world of Christendom. 

Part 07- The Great Crusades and the Crusading Dilemma - Part II

The external Crusades had to be accompanied by an internal crusade versus heresy, confused thinking in general, and corruption in the clergy and in the laity in all of their various activities. It is on this plane, Dr. John Rao explains, that SS. Dominic and Francis became symbols of the Crusading spirit.

Part 08 - The Ottoman Threat

Threats to Christian security very much increased with the Ottoman victory over Byzantium. Dr. John Rao describes the Ottoman advance, which continued, seemingly unabated, into Africa and southeastern Europe, causing Venice, Austria, and Spain to think that a conscious, dangerous pincer movement was in operation. Many critical moments awaited the Christian world until the Poles, Austrians, and Russians turned the tide against the Turks in the 1700's. 

 Part 09 - Developments in Modern Islam - Part I

In order to understand modern Holy War, it is essential to grasp the continued divisions and complexity of the modern Islamic world. One of the most important developments treated by Dr. John Rao is the growth of the "puritanical" Wahabi movement, which seeks to purge Islam from exaggerated Sufi and popular elements. 

Part 10 - Developments in Modern Islam - Part II

Dr. John Rao describes the influence of different modern Islamic developments for places like Asia and Africa, where Moslems are so militant today. Again, the ability of certain militant Moslem groups to provide a sense of belonging to uprooted peoples is stressed. The primarily "internal" character of much Moslem militancy, aimed against Moslem secularists, is also discussed. 

Part 11 - The Papal Army and the "Ninth Crusade" - Part I

Pope Pius IX was the most important symbol of the Catholic declaration of independence from secular enslavement in the 1800's. Love for him, Dr. John Rao explains, was overwhelming in the Catholic world. It was for this reason that Catholics responded with a crusading spirit to the assault on his center of power in the Papal States and Rome from 1848-1870. 

Part 12 - The Papal Army and the "Ninth Crusade" - Part II

The danger to the Papal States became more clear by 1859. A call to create an international Papal Army went out. Men from all over the world responded: France, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, Canada, and even the United States sent recruits. A retired French general led the forces. Dr. John Rao describes their life, their songs, their esprit-de-corps, their successes, and their ultimate tragic defeat on September 20, 1870, when Rome was occupied by the Kingdom of Italy. 

Part 13 - The Nineteenth Century Legitimist Crusade

Opponents of the Revolution in the nineteenth century saw themselves as fighting a battle for the defense of the consequences of the Incarnation against the enemies of Christ. Many became convinced that this battle required a return to power of the "legitimate" pre-1789 monarchies. Dr. John Rao describes the Faith, the successes, the failures, and, also, the mistakes and exaggerations of these political crusaders. 

Taken from: Crusading, the Crusader & the Christian Order - 2002 VonHildebrand Institute

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