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The Crusades videoconference will focus on the causes of the Crusades, a subject which has not been handled particularly well in most books on the subject written during the past 30 years. Most reduce the Crusades to simple religious wars; they were far more than that, however, and were triggered by a combination of factors ranging from internal European politics to religious divisions within Christianity to Islamic aggression and even to changes in climate. We'll explore the full range of contributing factors, look at the conduct of the First Crusade and life in the Crusader States, and more briefly at the later Crusades. We will also discuss how the Crusades have been perceived and used and abused in history and politics.

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