chapter  6
17 Pages

The Medieval Papacy and Holy War: General Crusading Letters and Papal Authority, 1145–1213

ByRebecca Rist

Rebecca Rist is a lecturer for the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Reading. Her research interests include the history of crusading, Jewish-Christian relations, the medieval Church, the papacy, religious belief and political ideas in the Central Middle Ages. Her book The Papacy and Crusading in Europe, 1198–1245 examines the papacy's authorization of crusades against heretics and political enemies in Europe during the first half of the thirteenth century. Twelfth-century popes felt the frequent need to reassert their magisterium and saw it as their right and even duty to call for crusades in virtue of their role as pontiffs and successors of St. Peter. When popes addressed the Christian faithful as "sons" (filii) in their correspondence, they deliberately emphasized their paternal role. The language popes employed reveals the emphasis they placed on deriving this authority from St. Peter.