Singing the Second Crusade

  • Margaret Switten


Bernard of Clairvaux had a pivotal role in the Second Crusade, both because of his persuasive eloquence and his approach to crusading ideology. According to Jean Leclercq, a core notion in Bernard’s concept of crusade was love: St. Bernard saw in the crusade a way of loving God and of proving it to Him.1 Bernard thus “interiorized” the crusade and its justification, calling upon each individual conscience to take up the cross in fervent spiritual dedication. “Passionate enthusiasm and eloquence and an emphasis on the personal religious significance of the crusading vow”, as Giles Constable has pointed out, “were the great contributions of Bernard of Clairvaux to the Second Crusade and to crusading theory in general.”2


Twelfth Century Phrase Pair Core Notion Divine Love Individual Conscience 
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Copyright information

© Michael Gervers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Switten

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