Dating an agnostic
33) suggests that the Church, while it embodied monotheism, had yet to rid itself of the old Hellenistic pagan tendencies: Thus Christianity itself, and the views on wealth and power that came down from it, did not challenge the inequality of the secular world. In this way they followed the main drift of the pagan philosophies.The inequality of human capacity was obvious, the need for subordination inescapable.
While the Crusades were launched in part to curb the growth of the Islam Empire, a key motivation was to gain new lands and wealth for the growing population of Europe(1).As long as the Byzantine (Eastern) Empire, with its seat in Constantinople, dominated the Christian Church, it maintained the balance of power between the bishop of Constantinople and the bishop of Rome.But when it began to crumble, Rome began to assert itself. However, before we can discuss the Crusades and how they impacted the Jews, we must first set the stage and go back in history.Let those who in the past have been accustom to spread private war so vilely among the faithful advance against the infidels...Let those who were formally brigands now become soldiers of Christ; those who once waged war against their brothers...The later pogroms are just going to be a repeat of this idea.
The Jews were not the only ― and in fact, not the primary ― victims of the Crusaders. All the brutality directed toward them devastated the Arab peoples economically, pushed the Islamic world to be more reactionary and closed, and contributed to Arab hatred of the West. One explanation is that it was the color of the blue-eyed northern Europeans that came to slay them.) There were altogether ten Crusades covering a swath of time between the 11th through the 13th centuries: That's the picture in a nutshell.
But it continued to expand it holdings, until it became by far the biggest landowner in Europe, collecting huge amounts of taxes from the hapless peasants.
Oxford scholar Henry Phelps-Brown in Egalitarianism and the Generation of Inequality (p.
Feudal serfs worked at backbreaking labor, dawn to dusk. It is impossible for us to imagine today the conditions and the deprivations of this time period.
The Church's role in the feudal system was quite ironic.
Its aim was to beat back the "infidels" (as Christians called their fellow monotheists) and to recapture the Holy Land.