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War of the Gods - Essay Example

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Religious ethics has often played a large role in many Holy Wars. One recent example of this can be seen in several aspects of today's War on Terrorism. A more prominent instance of a Holy War is the Crusades of the 11th Century. …
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War of the Gods
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This paper will examine the use of religious ethics to define a just war and the application of such ethics during the Holy Wars of the Crusades.

Monotheistic traditions, such as Christianity and Islam, often use their religious doctrines to find a justification for wars. These doctrines, in the Just War Theory, outline in detail when the use of force can be justified to resolve conflicts, from whom they should attain the blessing that such a use of force is recognized as necessary in the eyes of God, and to what extent the force should be employed. The primary focus of the just war tradition is to attain and confirm approval from God. In both religious doctrines, God-referred to as Allah in Islam-has confirmed the ideals that the use of force by His followers is a righteous and just action; this use of force often serves to control aggressions or perpetuate continued growth and spread of the Faith. In the case of the Crusades, justification came to Christians and Muslims alike from their respective Gods for the perceived need to control the Holy Land of Jerusalem.

These doctrines and the actions they perpetrated during the Crusades can be seen from both sides of this series of Holy Wars. August (1921) reveals such justification when the Christians sought to recapture Jerusalem. The fact that Christian soldiers were told they would be successful if God willed their victory directly preceding their accomplishment further confirmed that they were fighting a just war. Additionally, even if only by coincidence, the timeline in which these events took place were construed as signs from God that this war was just and approved; and that God would work with these soldiers and secure their success. This acknowledgement served to increase morale amongst the soldiers and justify future acts of aggression in the name of the Christian Crusades.
On the other side of this initial victory of the Christians, the Muslims also received blessings and encouraging sign from Allah. Muslims believed so deeply in the signs and the need for Divine approval, that any losses were perceived to be punishment for sins.
None, or few, were mindful of the Lord, or of such work as was needed to capture the city; nor did they take heed to beseech the Lord's favor. And thus we not recognize God in the midst of our affliction, nor did He show favor to the ungrateful. (August 9-10)
Essentially, while the Christians remained mindful of the signs that appeared to be sent from God, they saw continued, if intermittent, success in their plights during the Crusades. In contrast, the Muslims believed that the early Christian victories were the result not of God favoring the Christians and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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