Throughout the history of the Crusades, liturgical prayer, masses, and alms were all marshaled in the fight against Muslim armies. In Invisible Weapons, M. Cecilia Gaposchkin focuses on the ways in which Latin Christians communicated their ideas and aspirations for crusade to God through liturgy, how public worship was deployed, and how prayers and masses absorbed the ideals and priorities of crusading. Placing religious texts and practices within the larger narrative of crusading, Gaposchkin offers a new understanding of a crucial facet in the culture of holy war.
IntroductionPreliminariesChapter 1. Liturgy and the Origins of Crusade IdeologyChapter 2. From Pilgrimage to CrusadeChapter 3. On the MarchChapter 4. Celebrating the Capture of Jerusalem in the Holy CityChapter 5. Echoes of Victory in the WestChapter 6. Clamoring to God: Liturgy as a Weapon of WarChapter 7. Praying against the TurksConclusion
M. Cecilia Gaposchkin is associate professor of history at Dartmouth College.
Gaposchkin delivers her argument not only with historical exactitude and ingenuity, but also with the care of a seasoned educator.... Gaposchkin’s work stands at the top of crusade studies. Her work will strengthen the syllabi of seminars dedicated to liturgical history, especially of the medieval and crusading periods, and associated reading lists for doctoral students.
The intricate web linking thought, expression, and action at the heart of this marvelous book [will surely make it] indispensable for anyone interested in the Crusades as a manifestation of medieval religious culture.
~American Historical Review
A model demonstration of how the liturgy promoted ecclesiastical goals, and how the technical, seemingly intractable, medieval liturgy can be made accessible to historians.... Comprehensive, convincing, and successful.
This illuminating and detailed book reveals an aspect of crusading that is too easily forgotten—the practice of prayer and its dynamic relationship with the practice of arms—and urges us to remember that medieval Latin Christians were as serious about their faith as they were about their warfare.
This is a hardworking and exciting piece of work... that makes an original and impressive contribution to scholarship on the crusades.
~The Medieval Review
In this exceptionally learned, well-written, and important monograph, Gaposchkin makes a singular contribution to not one but two fields: liturgical studies and crusades history.... This is a monumental work deserving the attention of every medievalist.
Invisible Weapons is one of the most important books on the crusades to be published in recent decades. Like the very best scholarship in the field, it deepens our understanding of the crusades and the ideology that fuelled them, but situates the whole phenomenon within the wider cultural context of the medieval West, revealing ultimately how 'the liturgy imbibed the ideals of crusade such that crusade ideals and aspirations became part of Christian identity'
~Parergon: Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies