In the first class meeting of my Crusade and Jihad course this morning, I said something like this:
You don't have to want to be a Christian crusader in the present, or even be a Christian, to have a vague positive feeling about those old holy wars. For example, the recent movie Kingdom of Heaven by implication condemns some aspects of crusading, especially fanatics who go too far, but does not condemn crusading or Crusaders completely. There are plenty of literary and film examples of this going back to Walter Scott in the early 19th century. This results in the nostalgic feeling that somewhere sometime there was a worthy crusade pursued by sincere people who even if they made some mistakes had good hearts.Then I asked my students if they had any such nostalgic feeling.
Not one said they did.
Image: Richard Lionheart, North Bay seems to have fallen out of love with you...