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Northwest Missouri State University

Library Home » Electronic Theses » History » Thomas Bailey, OSB

Salutare Animas Nostras:
The Ideologies Behind the Foundation of the Templars

Author: Thomas Bailey, OSB
M.A. in History
Department of History, Humanites, Philosophy & Political Science
May 2012
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From beginning to end, the Knights Templar were a mysterious order. Little is known of their origins, and most of their records were destroyed during the suppression in the fourteenth century. In addition, they combined seemingly incompatible objectives: warriors and monks, as well as laity and clergy. This study bridges those divides, providing the historical developments from a secular and religious context. To understand the Templars' foundation, it needs to be based on a premise that combines the ideologies of the priestly and knightly classes-salvation and the means to attain it. The conclusions were drawn following a multi-disciplinary approach. The primary source materials included the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, patristic authors, medieval literature, canon law, the Templars' rules, in addition to monastic cartularies and chronicles. The secondary sources were a similar collection from various disciplines. The approach allowed for the examination of the Templars from multiple angles, which helped to highlight their diversified origins. The Knights Templar were the product of a long evolution beginning with the Pauline imagery of the Christian as a soldier battling his/her own spiritual demons and continuing through the call for a crusade to defend the Patrimony of Christ. Throughout those centuries two fundamental questions persisted: how do we save souls and how can I be saved?