Journal Article - International Security

Not So Innocent: Clerics, Monarchs, and the Ethnoreligious Cleansing of Western Europe

    Author:
  • Şener Aktürk
| Spring 2024

Summary

Ethnic cleansing is not only a modern phenomenon. The medieval Catholic Church saw non-Christians as a threat and facilitated the ethnoreligious cleansing of Muslim and Jewish communities across Western Europe. Three conditions made this possible: The rising power of the papacy as a supranational religious authority; its dehumanization of non-Christians; and competition among Catholic Western European monarchs that left them vulnerable to papal-clerical demands to eradicate non-Christians. These findings revise our understanding twentieth- and twenty-first-century ethnic cleansing in places like Cambodia, Iraq, Myanmar, the Soviet Union, and Syria.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Şener Aktürk, "Not So Innocent: Clerics, Monarchs, and the Ethnoreligious Cleansing of Western Europe," International Security, Vol. 48, No. 4 (Spring 2024), pp. 87–136. 

The Author