Crusade Against the Grail: The Struggle between the Cathars, the Templars, and the Church of Rome

Excerpts & Samples

By Otto Rahn

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Otto Rahn

Otto Rahn
Otto Rahn was born in Michelstadt, Germany, in 1904. After earning his degree in philology in 1924, he traveled extensively to the caves and castles of southern France, researching his belief that the Cathars were the last custodians of the Holy Grail. Induced by Himmler to become a member More...



The first English translation of the book that reveals the Cathar stronghold at Montségur to be the repository of the Holy Grail

• Presents the history of the Papal persecution of the Cathars that lies hidden in the medieval epic Parzival and in the poetry of the troubadours

• Provides new insights into the life and death of this gifted and controversial author

Crusade Against the Grail is the daring book that popularized the legend of the Cathars and the Holy Grail. The first edition appeared in Germany in 1933 and drew upon Rahn’s account of his explorations of the Pyrenean caves where the heretical Cathars sect sought refuge during the 13th century. Over the years the book has been translated into many languages and exerted a large influence on such authors as Trevor Ravenscroft and Jean-Michel Angebert, but it has never appeared in English until now.

Much as German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann used Homer’s Iliad to locate ancient Troy, Rahn believed that Wolfram von Eschenbach’s medieval epic Parzival held the keys to the mysteries of the Cathars and the secret location of the Holy Grail. Rahn saw Parzival not as a work of fiction, but as a historical account of the Cathars and the Knights Templar and their guardianship of the Grail, a “stone from the stars.” The Crusade that the Vatican led against the Cathars became a war pitting Roma (Rome) against Amor (love), in which the Church triumphed with flame and sword over the pure faith of the Cathars.
"A better study of the Cathar spirituality could not be found. And beyond delving into it uniquely and sympathetically, Rahn uses it like a prism to bring out the religious conflicts of the time."
Henry Berry, The Midwest Book Review, Nov 2006

"This is a superb introduction to the Cathars and Grail mysticism and we are privileged to have it at last available in English."
Living Traditions Magazine, Feb 2007

"[This] is the book that popularized the legend of the Holy Grail: its first edition appeared in Germany in 1933 and presented the author's own account of his explorations. Its appearance in a new updated edition is a 'must' for understanding the history and legend of the Gail, searches for its truth, and the involvement of the medieval epic Parzival in the Cathar/Grail saga."
Diane C. Donovan, California Bookwatch, Feb 2007

"Crusade Against the Grail is indeed a daring and audacious book that opens many doors to the wisdom of the Cathars, and certainly makes a trip to the hidden fortresses of the Cathars even more inviting."
Lesley Crossingham, New Dawn, May-June 2007