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Katherine Allen Smith
University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA 98416-5000)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2011 – 7/31/2011

Glossing the First Crusade: Biblical Exegesis and Holy War, 1099–c.1150

This project analyses three exegetical strategies by which clerical chroniclers carved out a privileged place for the First Crusade (1095-99) within salvation history: first, crusaders were associated with the ancient Israelites, whose ancient campaigns against unbelieving tribes foreshadowed the medieval holy war; second, the crusaders’ Muslim opponents were cast as reincarnations of the Philistines and Amalekites, ancient peoples whom the ancient Israelites had defeated with divine aid; and finally, the crusade narrative was inscribed onto an explicitly biblical landscape, in which nearly every landmark was associated with a holy figure or miraculous occurrence described in the Scriptures. In a larger sense, the project aims to shed new light on the relationship between history and exegesis, and the negotiation of Christian identity vis-à-vis non-Christian ‘others’ during the Twelfth Century Renaissance.