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Honorius III (1216–27) And The Crusades In The Baltic Region

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Chapter Summary

During his pontificate Pope Honorius III changed the papal policy on a series of issues, including mission among non-Christians and the Baltic crusades. Honorius took a much more active and initiating role in external mission than his predecessors. His new policy reflected the emerging interest in the conversion of non-Christians which was one of the results of a series of developments and ideas which came out of the late eleventh and twelfth centuries: the ideas of imitating the vita apostolic, the importance ascribed to preaching and evangelizing, and the emphasis in religious orders on living an active rather than a contemplative life. It was, however, only during the pontificate of Honorius III that the Baltic crusades began to receive greater papal endorsement. It was thus Honorius, not Innocent, who was the most important supporter of the Baltic expeditions in their crucial stage and promoted them as true crusades.

Keywords: Baltic crusades; Honorius III; non-Christians; papal policy; preaching



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