iOS app Android app

Jay Rubenstein
Jay Rubenstein is an Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Tennessee, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. The author of "Armies of Heaven" and "Guibert of Nogent: Portrait of a Medieval Mind," he has been named both a Rhodes Scholar and a MacArthur Fellow, and was awarded the Koren Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies for the best article in the field of French History published in a year. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Entries by Jay Rubenstein

Templars and Terror: Anders Breivik's Fantasy World

(25) Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 12:19 PM

Anders Breivik's trial for mass murder has begun in Norway. He has pled not guilty. Proud of committing a massacre at a youth camp, he sees himself as a soldier at war. More accurately, he is a general -- a Justiciar Knight in the Knights Templar -- a...

Read Post

Santorum's Augustinian Theology

(39) Comments | Posted February 23, 2012 | 5:10 PM

Rick Santorum's description of President Obama's "phony theology" is by now famous. He immediately defended his choice of words by saying that they applied not to the president's religion but rather to radical environmentalists. Looking at what he said in context, the defense is, basically, sound....

Read Post

Crusade Vs. Jihad: Which Is Worse?

(286) Comments | Posted December 19, 2011 | 6:09 PM

The First Crusade (1096-1099) spawned horrors the likes of which none of the crusaders had ever experienced. And they were horrors of their own making. Of the massacre in Jerusalem, a contemporary observed, "The knights could hardly bear it, working as executioners and breathing out clouds of hot blood."


Read Post

Massacre at Jerusalem -- Do The Crusades Still Matter?

(155) Comments | Posted December 2, 2011 | 12:22 PM

On July 15, 1099, a few thousand European soldiers broke through the walls of Jerusalem and massacred its garrison. At the time, everyone involved saw this moment in apocalyptic terms, and the memory won't go away. Nine centuries later, for example, former President Clinton recalled the massacre as...

Read Post

Prophets and Honor: Give Camping a Little Credit

(6) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 10:53 AM

These days everyone is piling on Harold Camping, the prophet who forecast the world's end on Oct. 21. Even me. As we know, he was wrong. But I, for one, feel a smidgen of admiration for him -- not pity, but actual respect. Comparatively speaking, he is a...

Read Post

Myths About Crusade Myths: Were They Defensive Wars?

(36) Comments | Posted October 31, 2011 | 12:41 PM

According to Scandinavian sociopath Anders Breivik, the number one example of anti-Western propaganda in the school curriculum is "falsified information about the Crusades." He points especially to the widely accepted belief that the crusades were offensive rather than defensive campaigns.

Breivik is not alone in this belief. Last February current...

Read Post

Clash of Civilizations or Nuisance? Medieval Crusading and the War on Terror

(32) Comments | Posted October 21, 2011 | 9:10 AM

As the never-ending war on terror enters its second decade, commentators and opinion continue to seek insight from the medieval crusades, when European Christian armies marched to the Middle East to make war against Muslim adversaries. To the casual observer, the crusades would seem to be the origin of all...

Read Post