The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations - Vol. 2

By Cathal J. Nolan | Go to book overview

Suggested Readings:
James Bryce, The Holy Roman Empire (1892; reprint 1978); John R Hale et al., Europe in the Late Middle Ages (1965); Friedrich Heer, The Holy Roman Empire (1968); R. E. Herzstein, ed., The Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages (1966); I. H. Robinson, Henry IV of Germany, 1056–1106 (1999).
Holy See. (1) The office or jurisdiction of the popes; (2) the papal court. In international law this entity is considered distinct from the Vatican. Formally, popes conduct foreign relations in the name of the Holy See, rather than the Vatican State (it is the Holy See that the Lateran Treaty of February 11, 1929, recognizes as sovereign). In practice, this amounts to a distinction without a difference, as the person of the pope combines the offices of head of the Catholic Church and head of state of the Vatican.
holy war. The notion that war is imbued with religious purpose is a persistent approach to armed conflict in many eras and societies. In such an approach, one’s own cause is seen as perfectly just and oneself as entirely moral, whereas the enemy is perceived, or at least portrayed to the home front, as the personification of evil; the war, as an all-out contest between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. Many faiths historically engaged in holy war, though they used different terms. The most prominent has been Islam, wherein an elevated doctrine of holy war is known as jihad. Second only to Islam historically in its penchant for holy war was Christianity. In the Christian world the tradition dates to when Constantine the Great (c. 274–337 C.E.) took the Christian cross as his symbol and proclaimed that he had experienced a vision wherein a cross appeared in the heavens accompanied by the message “In hoc signo vinces” (“In this sign you shall conquer”). That remained the motto of repression of heretics in early Medieval Europe, the Christian Crusades against Islam in the Middle East, the Reconquista in Iberia, and the Wars of Religion between Catholic and Protestant. At the same time as the wars of religion were being waged, beneath the surface fighting the idea of holy war as an animus to conflict slowly faded within Christendom with the rise of new secular ideas and states after the Great Schism. This was first seen in a small way in Italy in the city-state system of the Renaissance and then spread across the Alps—where it was not completed until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, and even then, the religious question was not wholly removed from European politics. See alsoideology;just war tradition; national liberation; pacifism; seisen.

Suggested Reading:

James T. Johnson and John Kelsey, Cross, Crescent and Sword (1990).

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The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iv
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • F 530
  • Suggested Reading: 534
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  • G 601
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