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But what if we've had it all wrong? What if the Crusades were a justifiable response to a strong and determined foe? Stark, a prominent sociologist and author of 27 books on history and religion, has penned a compelling argument that these bloody encounters had less to do with spreading Christianity than with responding to an ever more dangerous enemy-the emerging Islamic empire. 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.
Number of Pages: 288
|Publication Date: 2010|
The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western SuccessRodney StarkRandom House / 2006 / Trade Paperback$9.99 Retail:
$17.00Save 41% ($7.01)
Rodney Stark is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. His thirty books on the history and sociology of religion include The Rise of Christianity, Cities of God, For the Glory of God, Discovering God, and The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success. Stark received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
“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.”
“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.”
“[God’s Battalions] rewards a careful reading, and not only because the story itself is sogripping, with tales of courage and desperation, outsized characters, and fate of cultures hanging in the balance. …Masterful… sets the record straight.”
“[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.”
“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.”
“In God’s Battalions, Stark provides an account of the Crusades perfectly fitted for the Fox News audience. Clearly this is not the politically correct version of the Crusades, and that is fine: there is little that was politically correct about the Crusades in the first place.”
“In God’s Battalions Princeton sociologist of religion Rodney Stark seeks to dispel myths about the medieval Crusades and replace them with a more factual account…The historiographic arguments made by Stark regarding the antecedents and consequences of the Crusades are very convincing.”
“An excitingly readable distillation of the new, revisionist Crusades historiography.”
“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.”
“[Stark’s] new book, God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades, gives historic and sociological evidence for a fresh assessment of the Crusades.”
“[Stark] wants to challenge the prevailing television pundit-level misunderstanding of the Crusades, and in this, his accessible, enjoyably argued book succeeds.”
“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.”
“[Stark] makes the case [for the crusades] with admirable frankness and flair.”
“Rodney Stark turns what we ‘know’ about history on its head.”
“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.”
heaterfish135 Stars Out Of 5great book informative, factual, and easy to readJune 22, 2016heaterfish13Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I was taking a world civilization class at the junior college from a professor who believes that Christian, Jews, and Muslims are to be blamed for most of the world's wars. It was very refreshing and encouraging to read another perspective. Not that we are without blame but a much more complete picture of the causes of the Crusades.
cbcarter5 Stars Out Of 5Revealing!!!June 29, 2015cbcarterQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5What a great book, though it seems Stark writes nothing but good books. If you want the total truth about the crusades, this is the book. No white-washing here. Holds both Christians and muslim's feet to the fire, but eliminates the politically correct version of history to give you the real whats and whys of these events. Excellently written, very revealing. A definite five star
cbcarter5 Stars Out Of 5very fairJune 2, 2015cbcarterQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is a well written, very informative, very balanced look at the relationship between Islam and Christianity, and the Crusades. It gives a good pre-history of the Crusades, and a balanced view of how and why they came about. Mr. Stark has done the church a big favor in writing this book. Deals with the historical rewrite of liberal and secular scholarship in an attempt to dump all responsibility for the Crusades on Christians. Read this book if you want to know the real truth.
Sammy5 Stars Out Of 5Great bookMay 11, 2011SammyThis book just smashes many of the popular myths about the crusades.
Very well documented and detailed.