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The Crusades in 5 Minutes

The Crusades in 5 Minutes



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History in Five Minutes Podcast

Historian and veteran Middle East journalist Michael Rank looks into the most exciting events and personalities of history in this podcast and explains them in five-minute episodes so that you can absorb the facts in the fastest way possible. Learn about the lives of Genghis Khan, Vlad Dracul, and Richard the Lionheart, and such events as the Crusades and the Black Death in these highly entertaining and informative episodes. Michael has sold thousands of books with his unique take on the past with such best-selling titles as "History's Most Insane Rulers: Lunatics, Eccentrics, and Megalomaniacs From Emperor Caligula to Kim Jon Il," and he brings the same energy to this podcast. He focuses on world history, Roman history, military history, the history of the United States, the most famous rulers in history, biographies, biography of famous people, the most famous people in history, the most powerful rulers, medieval history, violent history, world history, United States history, and how to put all these pieces together. This is a great podcast if you know nothing about a topic and need a good launching point into a deeper study.


Creation of Russia in Five Minutes Video Worksheet

This video worksheet allows students learn about the creation of Russia. The video clip is only five minutes long, but it is packed full of information that will keep your students engaged.

This video worksheet works great as a “Do Now Activity” or as a complement to any lecture or lesson plan on early Russian history or geography. The worksheet helps students understand how Slavic, Viking, and Byzantine cultures mixed together to create Russia. The video is great for visual learners and helps break up class time so students are more focused throughout the entire period. My students love these short engaging videos and have a better understanding of world history.

This activity is very easy to use. All you have to do is hand out the worksheet to the students and play the video from the following website below. You can also download the video right to your computer from the website.

The worksheet is labeled (Creation of Russia in Five Minutes Video Worksheet)

Students watch the video and answer the questions on the worksheet. The worksheet includes 8 questions and has an answer sheet for the teacher. A QR code is also included for students. I recommend pausing the video at times to allow students to reflect and answer questions. The worksheet can be used to generate classroom discussion or be used as homework. Feel free to modify this assignment as needed for your classes.


Church History in 5 Minutes

5 Minutes in Church History has reached a milestone: this is the one-hundredth episode. To commemorate, we will provide a five-minute summary of church history.

John, the last of the Apostles, taught Polycarp, who went on to be the bishop of Smyrna. The early church, up through the 400s, is a story of martyrs and bishops and apologists. The Roman Empire was the challenger outside heresy was the challenge within. To speak to the challenge outside, there were the apologists and the martyrs. Even in their death, the martyrs were providing a faithful witness to Christianity. Polycarp who was one of these early martyrs. To respond to the challenge from within, the early church engaged in the recognition of the New Testament canon. The church also formulated statements of belief, summaries of orthodox teaching—the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Definition of Chalcedon. We also see the development of an episcopacy, or rule by bishops.

In the 400s, we have Augustine, who was a bridge between the early church and the medieval church. As he lay dying, the Vandals were laying siege to his city, Hippo Regius, in northern Africa. This was the end of the Roman world and the breaking in of the medieval era. The medieval world was a world of popes, theologians, emperors, councils, and Crusades. It was a world of monks and nuns, mystics and scholastics. And there was one figure who embodied many of these features, and that’s Anselm of Canterbury. He was a monk he later went on to be bishop at Canterbury and he was involved in theological developments with his work on the argument for the existence of God and on the atonement. He wrote the wonderful book Cur Deus Homo (Why God Became Man). He was even involved in the First Crusade. Because of power plays between the king of England and the pope, he was exiled from his home in Canterbury.

Then we move on to the Reformation, which stretched from the 1500s through the 1600s. We can get at the theology of the Reformation through the five Solas: sola Scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus, and soli Deo gloria. There are also the various branches of the Reformation, beginning in Germany with Martin Luther and Lutheranism in Zürich, we have Ulrich Zwingli in Geneva, we have John Calvin and the Reformed church in England, we have the Anglicans and in Scotland, we have Presbyterianism and then Puritanism.

As we move into the 1700s, we see that it was the worst of times. This is the rise of modernism and the rise of deism. This would eventually give rise to the secularism of our age. But it was also the best of times. The 1700s saw the First Great Awakening and great revivals under men such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield.

In the 1800s, we see the beginnings of higher criticism and the Second Great Awakening. This was a little different from the First Great Awakening. Charles Finney, the preeminent evangelist of the Second Great Awakening, was known for his innovative revival techniques (including “the anxious bench”) and emotionalistic preaching as a result, he looked and sounded a little different than Edwards and Whitefield.

As we move into the 1900s, we’ve got the controversy between theological liberals and so-called Fundamentalists, which involved figures such J. Gresham Machen, founder of Westminster Theological Seminary. The 1900s saw the rise of evangelicalism and the evangelistic crusades of Billy Graham. By the time we reach the twenty-first century, we have entered an age of missions as well as an age of ecumenism. It is also an age of theological confusion and an age of martyrdom. Thus, we have come full circle, back to the beginning and the martyrdom of Polycarp.


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The film takes many of its elements and main characters from the Third Crusade, which was prompted by the Saracen capture of Jerusalem and the crusader states in the Holy Land in A.D. 1187. The character of King Richard the Lionheart is a man of action but little thought. A hermit from Jerusalem arrives in Europe and starts gathering support for a Crusade. The hermit convinces a number of European rulers to travel to Jerusalem in order to bring the Holy City into Christian hands. Richard enlists in order to avoid an arranged betrothal to the King of France's sister, Princess Alice of France, but is followed by the Countess on the Crusade. A plot is laid against Richard's life by his brother Prince John and Conrad, Marquis of Montferrat. En route to the war, Richard meets Berengaria, Princess of Navarre. In order to get food for his men, Richard reluctantly marries her in exchange for her father's cattle and grain. Berengaria is forced to accompany Richard to the Holy Land.

During the Crusaders' attempts to get past the walls of Acre, the allies assemble in conference, but in disarray. Richard receives word that his brother John has seized the throne of England. Richard's ally, Philip II of France, is enraged at Richard's rejection of his sister Alice, but Richard defies Philip and the other troubled allies by proclaiming Berengaria Queen of England. The Christian leaders meet in parley with the Muslim Sultan and leader Saladin. Saladin is struck by Berengaria's beauty and bravery in supporting her husband. However, he rejects any truce with the Crusaders, and declares that the arrogant Richard will "never pass the gates of Jerusalem."

Berengaria is fearful that her presence in camp is causing disloyalty among Richard's allies, in particular the powerful French King Philip, and may harm their holy quest. Seeking death, she enters no man's land between the lines, only to be wounded and captured by the forces of Saladin. The hermit, the Christian "holy man" who had preached the Crusade, also is captured. Saladin escapes the siege, and after finding Berengaria wounded, brings her to Jerusalem to care for her, with admiration and growing affection. Not knowing this Richard and the Crusaders storm Acre to save the Queen of England.

The internal plot against Richard's life is hatched by Conrad and disloyal soldiers. Conrad reveals his plot to Saladin, expecting to be rewarded. Appalled by Conrad's treachery, Saladin orders Conrad to be immediately executed. Berengaria offers herself to Saladin if he will intervene and save Richard's life. Saladin sends a few of his soldiers to warn Richard who is searching the battle field at night for the body of a friend. Conrad's men attack Richard but are defeated by Saladin's soldiers who take the English King to Saladin. Richard and Saladin agree to a truce and the gates of Jerusalem are opened to all Christians with the exception of Richard, in keeping with Saladin’s earlier promise. After losing his kingship, his wife and the opportunity to see the Holy City, Richard prays for the first time, asking God for him to be reunited with his wife. Richard encounters Berengaria on her way to the Holy City. He admits his mistakes and Berengaria tells him that Saladin has freed her along with the other Christian captives. Berengaria proceeds alone toward Jerusalem to visit the Holy City and promises to return to him.

    – Berengaria, Princess of Navarre – Richard, King of England – Saladin, Sultan of Islam – The Hermit – Alice, Princess of France – Conrad, Marquis of Montferrat – Blondel – Philip the Second, King of France – Sancho, King of Navarre – The Blacksmith
  • Ramsay Hill – John, Prince of England – Robert, Earl of Leicester – Alan, Richard's Squire – Hugo, Duke of Burgundy – Frederick, Duke of the Germans – Karakush – Monk
  • Albert Conti – Leopold, Duke of Austria – Sverre, The Norse King
  • Paul Sotoff – Michael, Prince of Russia – William, King of Sicily – Nicholas, Count of Hungary
  • Anna Demetrio – Duenna – Soldier
  • Vallejo Gantner – Marshal of France

The film is noted for its spectacular film score, composed by Rudolph Kopp, but also the work of such other uncredited composers as Heinz Roemheld, Milan Roder, Frederick Hollander, John Leipold and Herman Hand. It includes the Hymn of Joy, music by Rudolph Kopp and lyrics by Harold Lamb Soldier's Song, by Kopp and Lamb and the stirring Song of the Crusades, music by Richard A. Whiting and Kopp, lyrics by Lamb and Leo Robin, and special choral lyrics by Jeanie Macpherson, which introduces the film and is used as the crusaders march to battle. [6]

Andre Sennwald of The New York Times called the film a "grand show" and "two hours of tempestuous extravaganza". Sennwald also praised the "superbly managed" staging of the attack on the city of Acre and cited "excellent performances" all around, stating in conclusion, "It is rich in the kind of excitement that pulls an audience irresistibly to the edge of its seat." [7] Variety also praised the film, writing, "Probably only DeMille could make a picture like Crusades – and get away with it. It's long, and the story is not up to some of his previous films, but the production has sweep and spectacle." [8] Film Daily declared it "one of the best DeMille pictures . The battle scenes are among the most thrilling made since the inception of talking pictures." [9] John Mosher of The New Yorker was less enthused, finding it "rather mild De Mille" that "doesn't compare by a long shot with many other scenes in the Master's collection. There is nothing in the film as astonishing as his Passing through the Red Sea, nothing as amazingly ornamental as his arenas of Imperial Rome." Mosher did praise Wilcoxon's performance, however, especially in his scenes with Young. [10] Similarly reserved, Graham Greene writing for The Spectator described it as "a very long film" with a "stuffy horsehair atmosphere of beards and whiskers", and criticized its historical accuracy as "a little quiet fun at the expense of Clio" with as "complete [a] lack of period sense" as "decorated mid-Victorian Bibles". Greene did praise de Mille's "childlike eye for details", however, and characterized the set-piece scenes (e.g. the cavalry charge and the storming of Acre) as "scenes of real executive genius". [11]

Lorraine K. Stock writes in Hollywood in the Holy Land, in her chapter "Now Starring in the Third Crusade" that Crusading films have been used by European and American countries to spread a political or cultural agenda. One way with which this is done is through the main Crusading "heroes" such as Richard the Lionheart and main antagonist Saladin. Many films have used the relationship between Richard I and Saladin. In this particular film the relationship between Richard I and Saladin is connected not only by the conflict of the Crusade but "an improbable, if entertaining, erotic triangle" with Berengaria of Navarre. Stock notes that this relationship and the events which occur can be seen as a reaction to events after the First World War and especially America's isolationism. For example, Richard the Lionheart at first does not want to get married, so he goes on Crusade despite showing signs of not being religious. Berengaria can also be seen as a "medieval League of Nations" when negotiations between Saladin and Richard I occur at the end of the movie.

A main concern for such films is the way Muslims and Crusaders are portrayed. Throughout the film Stock notes that there are a negative portrayals of Saladin and the Muslims. For instance Stock notes that the Crusaders are all dressed in mail armor with the cross upon their chests, while Saladin and the Saracens are dressed mainly in "flowing robes of luxury fabrics" and "silken sashes". The Saracens are shown as oriental but also "exotically feminized" according to Stock. Another scene has the Saracens shoot a Crusader messenger, who demands surrender of the city, with one of them wearing a helmet with devil horns upon it. There are other moments in which the Europeans mention devilry or call Muslims infidels. Stock says DeMille established "the stereotypes of Richard and Saladin that subsequent films would repeat…". [12]

However, Saladin is also depicted as an honorable man. In "Islam, Muslims and Arabs in the Popular Hollywood Cinema", Anton K. Kozlovic writes "The Crusades was not as enthusiastically received in the West as DeMille would have liked (Bichard 2004, 292) probably because it showed the good and noble side of the Muslims and contrasted it with the darker deeds of Christianity". Saladin in the film refuses to help assassinate Richard I and in fact sends out help to prevent Richard from being killed by the treacherous other Europeans. Kozlovic also notes that when Saladin offers peace to the "foes of Islam", Richard responds by drawing his sword "and saying 'We are going to slaughter you!'". Kozlovic sees DeMille's film as a challenge to the stereotypical norm and negative picture painted of Muslims in Crusader films specifically. [13]

This film, along with The Sign of the Cross, Four Frightened People, Cleopatra and Union Pacific, was released on DVD in 2006 by Universal Studios as part of The Cecil B. DeMille Collection.


The Real Story of the Children’s Crusade

Pick up most books on the Middle Ages geared toward elementary-school students and you will more than likely find an article on the so-called “Children’s Crusade,” complete with pictures of boys and girls running away from home to fight Muslims in the Holy Land. The accompanying narrative cites this episode as the perfect example of what was wrong with the medieval period and the role of the Catholic Church in that age. It was the evil and corrupt Church, the narrative goes, that encouraged innocent children to throw away their lives by participating in the Crusades for the opportunity to gain religious benefits. Since medieval people were uneducated, superstitious, and trusting of the Church, they gladly left home and families at the call of the pope. The implication is that the tragedy of the so-called “Children’s Crusade” would not have occurred absent the influence of the Catholic Church.

It is difficult for most Catholics to refute this false narrative because the very phrase “Children’s Crusade” engenders a mental picture of toddlers running wild with broadswords and crossbows and raises questions of how and why the Church could have supported such an endeavor. However, the Catholic armed with the real story of the “Children’s Crusade” is able to easily refute the modern false narrative, because actual history is certainly less salacious than modern critics contend.

The term “Children’s Crusade” is a misnomer, since the majority of participants were teenagers and young adults (not toddlers or small children), and none were actual Crusaders recognized by the Church. In essence, the “Children’s Crusade” was an urban migration of mostly poor young people who were influenced by the popular acceptance of the Crusading movement. The Church showed little interest in this youth movement, as there were neither condemnations nor public pronouncements of support. What is known about the “Children’s Crusade” has been cobbled together from various sources of contemporaries, or from those who later handed on and embellished the story. Unlike the major Crusades, there are no personal memoirs from this episode of Crusading history.

What is known for certain about the misnamed “Children’s Crusade” is that between Easter and Pentecost of 1212, young people in the Chartrain region of France near Paris, motivated by religious fervor, took the cross. The movement grew in strength and numbers when a charismatic youth from Cloyes named Stephen became its de facto leader. Stephen of Cloyes was a shepherd who believed Jesus had appeared to him and given him letters to be delivered to King Philip II Augustus in Paris.

When they arrived in the royal city, members of the group made known their desire to see Philip. B ut the king refused to meet them and made known through his officials his command for them to return home to their families. At this kingly imperative, the story of Stephen of Cloyes and the “Children’s Crusade” in France comes to an end. Disappointed by the king’s response, many of the French youth complied but others ignored the command and continued their procession eastward toward the Rhineland.

The remnant of the French youth movement crossed the Rhine and gathered new members from among German youths. Unlike the French movement, which mostly contained young people, the Rhineland expedition included a wide cross-section of society, from urban workers to the elderly to mothers and infants and even entire families. What linked both the French and German movements was the complete absence of armed warriors or clergy. Echoing traditional Crusading goals, the Rhineland youths called for the liberation of the Holy Sepulchre and the return of the Holy City to Christian control.

Just as the French element of the “Children’s Crusade” grew in numbers due to the charismatic leadership of Stephen of Cloyes, so too did the Rhineland movement from the leadership of Nicholas of Cologne. There is nothing known for certain about Nicholas’s background or motivations, but it is well accepted that he was a pious man who attracted thousands of people to join him in an expedition to liberate Jerusalem.

Nicholas’s objective was to march to the sea to find transport to the Holy Land, and so he led the youths of the Rhineland across the Alps and into Italy in late July 1212. The group arrived in Piacenza and then continued on to Genoa. Once in Italy, the movement began to dissolve as initial enthusiasm waned with the weariness of travel and the recognition of reality. As a result, many of Nicholas’s followers decided to end their participation by settling in Genoa, while others continued on to Pisa. Still others, perhaps the remaining French element, left Italy for Marseilles, where they hoped to find transport to the Holy Land.

Instead, immoral merchants duped them into boarding ships bound for Alexandria, whereafter some were drowned in shipwrecks and others were sold into slavery. The remaining youth went to Rome, where they requested release from their Crusade vow from Pope Innocent III. Those younger than fourteen and the elderly were granted their request, but the rest of the participants were held to their vow. Nicholas was last sighted in the port of Brindisi looking for transport to the Holy Land. It is possible that he fulfilled his Crusade vow by joining the Fifth Crusade and fighting in the Egyptian campaign of 1218–1221.

Like the Fourth Crusade’s sack of Constantinople, the “Children’s Crusade” is one of the most often recalled episodes of Crusading history by modernity. The modern false understanding of the Crusades in general, and the “Children’s Crusade” in particular, has its origins in the writings of anti-Catholic Enlightenment thinkers. The Frenchman Voltaire (1694–1778) specifically used the “Children’s Crusade” to attack the Church by blaming the clergy for their ultimate demise: “This epidemic disease [i.e., the Crusading movement] spread even to children. Thousands of them, led by their schoolmasters and monks, left their parents’ homes on the faith of these words: ‘Lord, you have drawn your glory from children.’ Their leaders sold some of them to the Muslims the rest died of poverty.” [1]

Despite its use by modern critics, the “Children’s Crusade” is not an example of wicked and greedy clergy, a corrupt Church, or the evil of the Crusades. Instead, this was a processional movement of deeply pious medieval young people enraptured by the Crusading fervor of their time. The movement was not sanctioned by the Church, nor supported by any major secular ruler, and that factor, more than any other, ensured its failure.

[1] Voltaire, Le Micromégas avec une historie des croisades (London, 1752), 103. Quoted in Gary Dickson, The Children’s Crusade — Medieval History, Modern Mythistory (New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2010), 171.


Israel Short History, Part 1: Canaanite and Israelite Periods

5000 years ago the geo-political situation in the Holy Land was of city-states (like the Greek Polis, later in Aegean world). Every city controlled a certain territory, and cities would sometimes collaborate, and some times would fight each other. Archaeologists call this period “The Bronze Age“, because of the use of that metal in that period The Bible calls its people – “The Canaanites“.

3200 years ago, the Canaanites became weak, and so were the neighboring cultures – the Egyptian in the SE and the cultures in Mesopotamia in the NW. And the mighty Hittites? – They completely disappeared!. Why is it happening?, the common explanation is a climatic disaster, causing a famine and turmoil.

And while big powers weaken, new local powers rise – Moabites, the Ammonites, the Edomites, and in the Samaria and Judean hills – the Israelites. They are unique group speaking the language called Hebrew, and sharing a revolutionary religious concept of a belief in one god (only) and that it has no physical shape!.

But while the Israelites settle the mountains, the coastal plain is inhabited by a new rivaling force – The Philistines. Archaeology proved that the Philistines were members of the “Sea People“, groups of people who migrated from the Aegean area, apparently because of the overall famine. Coming from the sea they settled along the coastal plain, and formed five major cities – Ashdod, Ascalon, Gaza, and in land Ekron and Gath. Having an advanced metal technology, the Bible admits to their superiority, and how once they even capture the ark of the covenant(!)

The turning point takes place about 3000 years ago, when the two forces will clash in the Ella Valley. Both sides agree to have representative fight in their name, and declare “if you win we’ll be your slaves if we win you will ours”. The Philistines send an “uncircumcised giant” named Goliath. The Israelites are all scared, but to the rescue comes a young‏ ‏‎ red head from Bethlehem named David. He hits Goliath straight in his forehead, and for the first time the Israelites are victorious.

The philistines retreat to their cities, and gradually they will disappear from the face of history. David becomes a celebrity, and after the death of Saul he is appointed king. He unites for the first time ALL the 12 tribes under his throne, and it then that he decide to create a new capital for his new united kingdom – Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is a small Canaanite village inhabited by Jebusites, yet David designates it to be the new capital for the new kingdom he created. He takes it over by force, yet by the mountain top above, intending it to be the place of the Temple. Later tradition will place the near sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham on the same mountain top. David’s son, Solomon, builds the Temple on top of the Temple mount above the city, and for about 400 years it will be the focal point of pilgrimage and admiration. Archaeologically however there is nothing left of it today.

In 586 BCE the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the city, demolished Solomon’s temple, and sent the Jewish people to exile in Babylon. Frankly this should have been the end of the Jews. Similar ethnic groups disappeared in this process – the Maobites, the Ammonites, and the Philistines.


Selwood was born on 19 December 1970 [1] in England, and grew up in Salisbury, Cyprus, and Germany. [2] He went to school at Edge Grove School and Winchester College, [3] and studied law and French law at the University of Wales.

He was awarded a scholarship to the University of Poitiers, where a chance meeting in a local café with the publisher (and early sponsor of Private Eye) [4] [5] Anthony Blond led to a collaboration on Blond's Roman Emperors. [6] His doctoral research on medieval religious and military life, specialising in the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller, the two leading military orders of the Crusades, was undertaken as a member of New College, Oxford. While conducting his research, he won a research scholarship to the Sorbonne in the history of Byzantium and the Christian Near-East, where he was awarded a double first class.

In 1997 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and he is also an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He was called to the Bar in London by Lincoln's Inn, [7] joined a set of barristers' chambers in the Inner Temple, and was a member of the Western Circuit. [8] In a 2014 interview he said that his work as a criminal barrister had been formative for writing thrillers. [9] He is one of the founders of Arabesque Partners.

Selwood says he is "obsessed with the weirder side of the past", [10] and describes himself as a "deeply fuzzy and laissez-faire English Catholic". [11] He speaks regularly about history at schools, universities, literary festivals, learned societies and institutions like the British Library and British Museum. [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

Newspapers and magazines Edit

Selwood writes as a non-political journalist for the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper and is currently a resident history columnist, including the daily 'On this Day' column. [17] His writing has been described as a "must read", [18] "a fascinating change from the usual dusty history books", [19] and "strident debunkery". [20] He has also written for The Spectator, The Independent, CityAM, Prospect Magazine, The Harvard Business Review and The Catholic Herald.

Television and radio Edit

He appears regularly on television and radio as a historical commentator and adviser, and on discussion shows like the BBC's The Big Questions. [21] He appears often on international news programmes explaining historical events, and is a regular on the Discovery Channel's prime time series Mysteries of the Abandoned. [22]

Non-fiction Edit

  • Punctuation Without Tears: Punctuate Confidently - in Minutes!, illustrated by Delia Johnson, (Corax, London, 2018) ISBN978-0992633295, voted five stars by The Independent for putting simplicity and fun back into good writing. [23]
  • Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers: The History You Weren't Taught at School (Crux Publishing, London, 2015) 978-1909979338
  • Knights of the Cloister (The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1999) 978-0851158280, a study of the medieval Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller, the first study to deal in detail with their lives and activities in the south of France (their European headquarters), demonstrating how they raised the manpower, money and weapons to support the crusades in the East. [24][25][26]

Fiction Edit

Novels Edit

  • The Apocalypse Fire (Canelo, London, 2016 Corax, London, 2016) 978-0992633271, a best-selling thriller described by the British Army's official magazine as "the best of James Bond and The Da Vinci Code". [27]
  • The Sword of Moses (Corax, London, 2013 Canelo, London, 2015) 978-0992633202, a best-selling thriller, [28] voted Editor's 'Pick of the Week' by the Daily Express (7 February 2014) and one of 'The Five Best Religious Thrillers of All Time' by BestThrillers.com (3 December 2014). [29]

Antiquarian Ghost Stories Edit

Museums Edit

Selwood has defended universal museums, stressing their origin as Enlightenment foundations as opposed to colonial or imperial trophy cabinets. [33] He has argued for the accurate labelling of museum exhibits to take into account their full histories. [34] He has, in particular, advocated for a historic understanding of the British Museum’s acquisition of the Elgin Marbles, noting that the Seventh Earl of Elgin obtained a firman from the Sublime Porte of Constantinople to transport them to Britain, and that Parliament investigated the lawfulness of his possession of the sculptures before purchasing them from him and donating them, in trust, to the British Museum. [35]

British Catholicism Edit

Along with Eamonn Duffy, Selwood has written of Britain’s strong Catholic heritage before the Reformation, pointing to its vibrancy and long heritage, locating it within a unified European Christendom, and noting the extreme measures used by the Tudors to suppress it. [36]

Shroud of Turin Edit

Pointing to medieval church records, Selwood has argued for a medieval origin for the Shroud of Turin. In support of this he has pointed to the scientific evidence.

After much toing and froing, the shroud was finally carbon dated in 1988 under the supervision of the British Museum. Laboratories in Oxford, Tucson, and Zurich were each sent a 40-gram section the size of a postage stamp, along with three control samples. The laboratories worked entirely independently of each other, and when the results were in, they all concurred, providing 95 per cent confidence in a date range of AD 1260–1390. [37]

Richard III Edit

Selwood has argued for the guilt of Richard III in the death of the Princes in the Tower.

Cui bono? is still the starting point for murder investigations the world over, and the main beneficiary of the princes’ permanent exit from the succession was undoubtedly Richard. Not only did he have the strongest motive, but he also had the boys under his absolute control, along with a proven disregard for their entitlements and well-being. He also never made any attempt to explain publicly where they were, or what had happened to them under his ‘protection’. [38]

Selwood has also questioned the accuracy of the DNA tests that identified a skeleton found under a carpark in Leicester in 2012 as the remains of Richard III, pointing to the wrong radio carbondating range until adjusted for a fish diet, a wrong male-line Y-chromasome, and likely wrong hair and eye pigmentation. [39]

Selwood played bass in London hard rock band The Binmen with The Sweet and Slade singer Mal McNulty and Ozzy Osbourne and Necromandus drummer Frank Hall. [40]

He has dealt extensively with music in his journalism, and wrote the obituary of Lemmy, founder of Motörhead. in The Spectator, describing him as "a national treasure – a unique collision of swing and amphetamines". [41]


Recent Episodes

Travel back in time as we look at the people, events, and even the places that have shaped the story of Christianity. Each episode of 5 Minutes in Church History offers an easily digestible glimpse of how the eternal, unchangeable God has worked in the church over prior generations, and how this can encourage us today. This is our story—our family history.

Dr. Stephen Nichols combines a passion for church history with a love for the Reformed tradition, and he brings his expertise to our podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.

A specialist in American Christianity and historical theology, Dr. Nichols is President of Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Fla., Chief Academic Officer of Ligonier Ministries, and a Ligonier teaching fellow. He formerly served as research professor of Christianity and culture at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pa. He has served as a lecturer and adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

Dr. Nichols has master’s degrees in theology and philosophy, and he received his Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

A prolific writer, Dr. Nichols has written, contributed to, or edited more than twenty books on church history, biblical doctrine, and practical theology, including volumes in the Guided Tour series on Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, and J. Gresham Machen. His recent books include A Time for Confidence, Reformation ABCs, and The Legacy of Luther, coedited with R. C. Sproul. He has also contributed many articles to publications such as Tabletalk magazine. He is coeditor for the Theologians on the Christian Life series from Crossway.

Dr. Nichols has traveled extensively for teaching and speaking engagements, including the prestigious Gheens Lectures for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to 5 Minutes in Church History, he also hosts the Open Book podcast.

Dr. Nichols lives with his wife, Heidi, and three children in Sanford, Florida.


Watch the video: Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing youve never noticed. Roman Mars (August 2022).

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