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The Apple of His EyeConverts from Islam in the Reign of Louis IX$
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William Chester Jordan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691190112

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691190112.001.0001

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The Crusade of 1248–1254

The Crusade of 1248–1254

(p.21) Chapter One The Crusade of 1248–1254
The Apple of His Eye

William Chester Jordan

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses Louis IX's efforts to initiate his personal project of bringing Muslims to the Catholic faith in the run up to, and during, the Crusade in 1248–1254. The dominant mood of Christendom at the time was one of overflowing optimism, characterized by dramatic conversions in the wake of the anticipated Christian conquest. An aspect of this wishful scenario was the expectation that defeated Muslim rulers and commanders would start the process of conversion by themselves going to the baptismal font, thus inspiring or insisting that their people do so as well. Indeed, conversion of the Muslim enemy was an important component of the fantasy world of the western knight. “Fantasy” is a favorite word among students of these matters. Yet it was also a scenario, albeit repellant, imagined Muslims fighting the crusaders, who feared that Christian victories over them would lead to waves of conversions.

Keywords:   Crusades, Louis IX, conversions, Christian conquest, Muslim rulers

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