Crusade and Jihad (Ebook)

Origins, History, Aftermath

Malcolm Lambert

Malcolm Lambert's investigation of the medieval origins of crusade and jihad casts a clear light on their contemporary meanings in the West and Middle East.

Malcolm Lambert investigates the histories of Christianity and Islam to trace the origins and development of crusade and jihad. In a narrative that brims with larger than life characters - among them, Richard Lionheart, Nur al-Din, Saladin, Baybars and Ghengiz Khan - he describes the fiercely fought struggles to control the sacred places of the Middle East between the seventh and thirteenth centuries.
Crusade and jihad are often reckoned two sides of the same coin but this simple opposition, the author shows, conceals crucial differences and similarities. From the outset jihad reflected tensions within as much as outside Islam. Jihad also described the struggle between good and evil in the souls of believers. Calls for crusade and jihad disguised ambitions for power and plunder, but they also equally inspired acts of chivalry and heroism.
Malcolm Lambert then moves to the more recent history of jihad and crusade. In nineteenth-century France he finds imperialism configured as a crusade to enlighten the barbarians. Meanwhile in Britain one of the crusading orders transformed itself into the St John Ambulance Brigade. More recently in the USA crusade has been evoked in the war on terror while jihad is now the rallying cry for Islamic extremists round the world. Yet, Dr Lambert notes, it still retains its peaceful spiritual dimension.
Crusade and Jihad is a vivid, balanced account of two of the most powerful forces of history.

Publication date: 21/04/2016


ISBN: 9781847659279


Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: History & Classics

Reviews for Crusade and Jihad

'Well written and highly readable ... a clear narrative of what actually happened to Christians and Christianity between the third and eighth centuries.'

Alan Thacker The Tablet

'Accessible but highly knowledgeable...[it] offers valuable insights not often found in works of general crusading history'

Sean McGlynn BBC History Magazine

'Broad, comprehensive and revealing'

Justin Marozzi Spectator

'Thought-provoking and extremely readable'

 The Catholic Herald


From the reviews of Christians and Pagans: The Conversion of Britain from Alban to Bede (Yale University Press 2000)
'This book is a mine of information ... a most valuable guide to archaeological finds and literary sources for this period


Benedicta Ward Times Literary Supplement

'Lambert's engaging and readable account weaves archaeological and art-historical evidence with the literary record, demonstrating how the process of conversion changed the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of early medieval Britain.'

Sarah Foot BBC History Magazine

Malcolm Lambert

Malcolm Lambert

Malcolm Lambert was formerly Reader in Medieval History at the University of Bristol. Of his book Medieval Heresy (now in its third edition), the American medieval historian, Norman F. Cantor, wrote: 'A masterpiece of learning, thought, and insight. No serious student of the Middle Ages will fail to read and indeed reread this seminal work. I regard it as one of the finest and most important books on medieval history ever written.' His other books include The Cathars (1998) and Christians and Pagans: The Conversion of Britain from Alban to Bede (2000). He lives in Worthing.