This resolutely traditional study based on charter evidence and computer analysis is a devastating attack on current secular, economic interpretations of crusader motivations. The author has investigated the documents related to the crusading vows and financial arrangements of 791 individuals who certainly, probably, or possibly took part in the First Crusade and the expeditions which followed immediately thereafter. He concludes that crusading drew on the traditions of pilgrimage to Jerusalem and pious violence that were brought together by Urban II in 1095. The crusaders' responses were emotional and religious, with no indication that potential profit or personal ambition was of significant importance. There is little evidence for settlement plans (colonialism), for comparisons to looting expeditions, or for opportunities for younger sons to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Decisions to go on crusade were not made individually, but in a context of lordship and kinship that provided security on the journey against illness and mishap and also assisted in raising the necessary funds. Fundamental to all involved was the possibility of taking active steps toward salvation rather than the traditional passive prayer or abandonment of the world.