Symposium 2007

Korstog i senmiddelalderen.

Fighting for the faith during Renaissance and Reformation.                         

Late medieval and early modern crusading, 1400-1650

November 12th - 13th 2007

Lecture-hall O100 at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense

Organized by The Nordic Centre for Medieval Studies and The Medieval Centre, University of Southern Denmark. Odense.

The symposium is open to all. For participation, please register before 12 October 2007 by sending an e-mail to Please indicate when registering whether you wish to participate in the seminar lunch (150 Dkr. or 20 Euros pr. day). For further information, contact Dr. Janus Møller Jensen,

The symposium will investigate the role of crusading and crusade ideology in the late medieval and early modern period. It has become apparent that although the religious and political situation made a common Christian crusade against the enemies of Christendom - and a recovery of the <place w:st=on>Holy Land</place> - more and more unlikely, the crusade and its ideals continued to have a profound influence in the fifteenth century. This influence does not seem to have diminished with the Reformation and did indeed continue on both sides of the confessional divide in sixteenth century Europe. Crusading thus had a tremendous impact on religious and political life in Europe, continuing at least until the seventeenth century. Crusade ideology permeated society. It can almost be equalled to a modern multi-media show: it was preached, processions were performed, it was part of the daily liturgy, prayers were said during mass, crusade masses were performed, it was painted on church walls, present in art, and church-bells were rung to remind people of the danger of the Turks. Crusade literature was being read and created, prophecies and astrological charts consulted; old legends, medieval chronicles, classical scholarship were being rediscovered and reinvented by renaissance humanists in support of the efforts to launch crusades in their own day; and all this was forwarded by the newly invented printing press. Crusades were for everybody and directed against all enemies of the faith, against heretics within Christendom, against heathens and infidels, Saracens in in Spain and the schismatic Russians in the north-east. But the greatest danger, especially after the fall of Constan­tinople in 1453, came from the Turks, who during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries pushed into central Europe, reaching as far as Vienna in 1529. Although Lutheran reformers argued forcefully against the crusade indulgence from 1517, they simultaneously strongly advocated a war against the Turks. Despite being conducted by the secular authority, this war against the Turks retained a number of the essential characteristics of the medieval crusade ideology: it was considered God’s war, and the soldiers were seen as performing the will of God and would achieve martyrdom as their reward for fighting for the true faith. Crusade history and the example set by the crusaders could be used to inflame young Protestants to fight in the wars of religion of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. And the Protestant church was to deliver the spiritual artillery against the enemies of both state and Christen­dom. At least to some contemporaries the continuity from the medieval crusades was obvious, raising interesting perspectives for understanding the long afterlife of the crusades also addressed at this symposium.


Monday 12 November
09.45-10.00: Introduction 
    Janus Møller Jensen, University of Southern Denmark

10.00-10.40: From Mobilisation to Memory: Crusading 1450-1650

    Norman Housley, University of Leicester

10.40-11.20: Jerusalem in the Papal Letters of the 15th century: Goal, Justification or an Instrument of Enlistment for the Crusading plans?

    Benjamin Weber, Université de Toulouse – Le Mirail

11.20-11.30: Break

11.30-12.10: Hospitaller Writings on the Fight against the Turk: Selling the Crusades to Western Europe

    Theresa M. Vann, Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

12.10-13.20: Lunch

13.20-14.00: The Importance of the Byzantine Qur’an Translations for the Anti-Islamic Polemics

    Christian Høgel, University of Southern Denmark

14.00-14.40:Byzantine Expatriate Diplomats in the Planning of Crusades towards the End of the Fifteenth Century

    John H. Lind, University of Southern Denmark

14.40-15.10: Coffee

15.40-16.20: Crusade against Christian Neighbours. Boniface IX’s Crusading Bull of 1401 to Queen Margaret I of the Kalmar Union

    Kurt Villads Jensen, University of Southern Denmark

16.20-17.00: Hussites’ View of Crusading and Their Idea of Holy War

    Pavel Soukup, Charles University in Prague

17.00-17.30: General discussion

Tuesday 13 November

09.00-09.40: The Shield of theKalmar Union to the East. Sweden and the Crusade against the Russians, 1495-1497

    Tore Nyberg, University of Southern Denmark

09.40-10.20: Les Rois Catholiques et la Guerre de Grenade d’après le témoignage d’Alonso de Palencia

    Daniel Baloup, Université de Toulouse – Le Mirail

10.20-10.40: Break

10.40-11.20: Crusading and Astrological Tracts

    Claudius Sieber-Lehmann, University of Basel

12.00-13.10: Lunch

13.10-14.00: The Ottomans and the Earlier Tudors (1485-1558)

    Greg O’Malley, Independent scholar

14.00-14.40: Protestant Crusading: Christian III of Denmark

    Janus Møller Jensen, University of Denmark

14.40-15.10: Coffee

15.10-16.00: ”The Ultimate Perversion” – the End of the Crusader State in Preussia (the Treaty of Kraków 1525)

    Darius von Guttner Sporzinsky, University of Melbourne

16.00-16.40: A Lutheran Appropriation of the First Crusade: The Danish Historian Anders Sørensen Vedel’s Apology for Editing Robert the Monk

    Karen Skovgaard-Petersen, The Royal Library in Copenhagen

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