Skip to main content

Uses and meanings of the word crusade in the late Middle Ages


"The program aims at a global understanding of the crusading phenomenon in the Middle Age by a study of the uses and meanings of the word ""crusade"" in European sources in the end of the 13th and 14th century. Based on recent pragmatic linguistic theories, it proposes a completely new approach of an old debate on the definition of the crusade by understanding the uses of the word in their context. Though quite uncommon in medieval texts, the word “crusade” is particularly polysemous: it isn’t used to precisely indicate an event but to create linguistic categories, bringing together various realities in order to give sense and unity to the growing diversity of crusading activities.
The research will focus on previously identified documents using the word “crusade”, mainly various English and French chronicles. A close study of these texts, their authors, addressees, intentions and uses of the word “crusade” will provide new insights on how crusading was conceptualized and how diffused and accepted this conceptualization was. At the same time, working in the Centre of Medieval Studies in Stockholm and organizing conferences with other crusading scholars will allow confronting the hypothesis with other sources and views and thus making the conclusions more relevant.
Various papers will be delivered, orally or written, for specialized or large audiences. The innovative methodology of the program will be widely diffused as well as the new conceptualization of the crusading phenomenon. Apart from its interest to crusading scholars and historians, these conclusions will bring answers to current questionings about the crusades and their relation to nowadays East-West relations by showing how much the conceptualization of the crusade –what is a crusade and what is not- has never been more than a linguistic choice, very often linked to political views.

Field of science

  • /humanities/languages and literature/linguistics

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Universitetsvagen 10
10691 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 101 926,08