Warriors of the Lord: The Military Orders of Christendom

Article excerpt

Walsh, Michael. Warriors of the Lord: The Military Orders of Christendom. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 2003. Pp. 208. $28.00.)

Warriors of the Lord surveys the history of the Christian military religious orders that had their origins in the wars between Christianity and Islam in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Avoiding esoteric mysteries and speculative theories, Michael Walsh, a "distinguished Catholic commentator," has adopted a strictly neutral and even-handed viewpoint, always endeavoring to remain readable and accessible to the general reader for whom the book is intended. The book includes a useful list and description of all the military religious orders of Catholic Christendom, an up-to-date bibliography, and an index, and is well illustrated, although it is odd that no medieval depictions of the military orders are included. Walsh has assumed no prior knowledge on the part of his readership and devotes considerable space to describing the background to his subject, such as Christian views of war, the growth of Islam, and the history of the crusades. …