Sunday, March 25, 2007

Crusade and jihad

From Riley-Smith, The Crusades, p. 152:

Innocent IV [1243-54] was prepared to argue that the pope had a de jure, but not de facto, authority over infidels, with the power to command them to allow missionaries to preach in their lands and a right in the last resort to punish them for infringements of natural law, but he stressed that Christians could not make war upon them for being infidels; nor could they fight wars of conversion. Hostiensis [a church or canon law expert of the same time], on the other hand, supposed that the pope could intervene directly in affairs of infidels and that their refusal to recognize his dominion was in itself justification for a Christian assault upon them. He even suggested that any war fought by Christians against unbelievers was just, by reason of the faith of the Christian side alone. This went too far and Christian opinion since has tended to follow Innocent rather than Hostiensis.

Students in History of Islamic Civilization might want to compare these opinions with that of the Egyptian Islamicist Qutb.

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