Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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The Military Orders

Religious Congregations of Knights.

One of the most distinctive developments of the period following the First Crusade (begun in 1095) was the creation of "military orders," religious congregations of knights whose initial purpose was to protect pilgrims and maintain control of the "Crusader Kingdoms" established by the French in the Holy Land. Clearly the military religious orders began with the justification of Christian warfare during the First Crusade. The act of killing the enemies of Christ was not seen as a sin but rather as necessary and meritorious. Thus, if a Christian soldier died in such a war, it brought him the status of martyrdom. Also, the Crusades themselves had taken on the character of a special pilgrimage, and, like pilgrims, a participant in a Crusade could be granted an indulgence, or remission from temporal penances associated with his sins. As the size of pilgrim...

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This section contains 1,617 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion Encyclopedia Article
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Arts and Humanities Through the Eras
Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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