This Week in Christian History: Sojourner Truth, First Crusade, CS Lewis

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(Photo: Public Domain)Peter the Hermit leading an army during the First Crusade (1096-1099).

Christianity is a faith with a long and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.

Each week brings the anniversaries of great milestones, horrid tragedies, amazing triumphs, telling tribulations, inspirational progress, and everything in between.

Here are just a few things that happened this week, Nov. 26 - Dec. 2, in Church history. They include the death of an abolitionist, the call to crusade, and the birth of CS Lewis.

Sojourner Truth Dies — November 26, 1883

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(Photo: Public Domain)American abolitionist Sojourner Truth (c. 1797-1883), as seen in an 1870 photo.

This week marks the anniversary of when notable abolitionist, feminist, and evangelist Sojourner Truth passed away in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Born with the name "Isabella" to slave parents in New York, she escaped slavery in 1827 and adopted the name Sojourner Truth in 1843, becoming a popular orator and human rights advocate.

"Her faith and preaching brought her into contact with abolitionists and women's rights crusaders, and Truth became a powerful speaker on both subjects," noted PBS.

"Her speeches [before the Civil War] were not political, but were based on her unique interpretation-as a woman and a former slave-of the Bible."

During the war, she successfully campaigned for the Union Army to allow for the enlistment of blacks and then went about raising funds to support their regiments.

Pope Urban II's Call to Crusade — November 27, 1095

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(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)Pope Urban II giving his call to crusade at the Council of Clermont in November 1095.

This week marks the anniversary of Pope Urban II's speech at the Council of Clermont, which began the first of many holy wars in the Middle East known as the Crusades.

The call to crusade was given in response to a request from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I to have Western Europe help take back land recently conquered by the Muslim Seljuk Turks.

Urban addressed hundreds of clergy, appealing for Europeans, especially the French, to put their differences aside and take back the Holy Land.

"This royal city, therefore, situated at the centre of the world, is now held captive by His enemies, and is in subjection to those who do not know God, to the worship of the heathens," declared Urban, as recorded by Robert the Monk.

"She seeks therefore and desires to be liberated, and does not cease to implore you to come to her aid. From you especially she asks succor, because, as we have already said, God has conferred upon you above all nations great glory in arms."

CS Lewis Born — November 29, 1898

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This week marks the anniversary of the birth of Clive Staples Lewis, the famous author and intellectual better known as CS Lewis.

Lewis was born in Belfast in what is now the United Kingdom country of Northern Ireland, to Flora August Hamilton Lewis and Albert J. Lewis.

"As a toddler, Clive declared that his name was Jack, which is what he was called by family and friends. He was close to his older brother Warren and the two spent much time together as children," noted

"Lewis was enraptured by fantastic animals and tales of gallantry, and hence the brothers created the imaginary land of Boxen, complete with an intricate history that served them for years."

Lewis would grow up to become a notable English author, writing both fiction and nonfiction classics like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity.

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