Freemasonry is the largest, oldest, and most influential secret society in the world. The Brill Handbook of Freemasonry is a pioneering work that brings together, for the first time, leading scholars on Freemasonry. The first section covers historical perspectives, such as the origins and early history of Freemasonry. The second deals with the relationship between Freemasonry and specific religious traditions such as the Catholic Church, Judaism, and Islam. In the third section, organisational themes, such as the use of rituals, are explored, while the fourth section deals with issues related to society and politics - women, blacks, colonialism, nationalism, and war. The fifth and final section is devoted to Freemasonry and culture, including music, literature, modern art, architecture and material culture.
Henrik Bogdan, Ph.D. (2003), is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at University of Gothenburg. He is the author of Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation (2007), and co-editor of several works, including Occultism in a Global Perspective (2013).
Jan A.M. Snoek, Ph.D. (1987) in the Sciences of Religions, University of Leiden (The Netherlands), is attached to the Institute for the Sciences of Religions at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), and published widely about the development of masonic rituals. Among his publications are Initiating Women in Freemasonry, The Adoption Rite (Brill, 2012).
Contributors include: Marijo Ariens-Volker, José A. Ferrer Benimeli, Henrik Bogdan, Matthew Crow, James Stevens Curl, Malcolm Davies, Mark J.R. Dennis, Robert A. Gilbert, Jessica Harland-Jacobs, Kristiane Hasselmann, Arturo de Hoyos, Massimo Introvigne, Margaret Jacob, Guy Liagre, Pierre Mollier, Robert Jan van Pelt, Charles Porset, Andrew Prescott, Cecile Révauger, François Rognon, Matthew Scanlan, Jan A.M. Snoek, David Stevenson, Jeffrey Tyssens, Jean-François Var, Daniel Weinbren, and Thierry Zarconne.
"The Handbook of Freemasonry is a formidable and provocative collection of the thoughts of many of the most accomplished scholars of Freemasonry in Europe and America. Anyone involved in serious Masonic research will find it to be a valuable resource."
Shawn Eyer, FPS, Philalethes, Summer 2014
"At 669 pages, meticulously indexed, and boasting detailed bibliographies at the end of each chapter, the Handbook of Freemasonry functions as a valuable and insightful compendium of a remarkable quantity of knowledge about an often misunderstood and yet strangely ubiquitous initiatory society. Those looking for a detailed study or help in inspiring their own research on Freemasonry would do well to tackle the Handbook."
Nathan Schradle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Nova Religio, Vol. 20, No. 2
"To sum up, the volume contributes significantly to the understanding of Freemasonry with its diverse entries and points of focus. The Handbook of Freemasonry likely qualifies as the most significant work to have been published on Freemasonry in recent years, and will be a source of great importance for years to come, both in terms of its theoretical developments and as a reliable source for consultation."
Peter Olsson, Correspondence 4 (2016).
List of Contributors
List of Illustrations
Chapter 1: Introduction
Henrik Bogdan and Jan Snoek
Chapter 2: The History of Freemasonry: An Overview
Jan Snoek and Henrik Bogdan
Chapter 3: The Old Charges
Chapter 4: The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland
Chapter 5: The Origins of Freemasonry: England
Chapter 6: Freemasonry and Templarism
Chapter 7: Freemasonry and the Enlightenment
Margaret Jacob and Matthew Crow
Chapter 8: Masonic Historiography
FREEMASONRY AND RELIGION
Chapter 9: Freemasonry and the Catholic Church
José A. Ferrer Benimeli
Chapter 10: Freemasonry and the Orthodox Churches
Chapter 11: Freemasonry and Protestant Churches
Chapter 12: Freemasonry and Judaism
Robert Jan van Pelt
Chapter 13: Freemasonry and Islam
Chapter 14: Freemasonry and Eastern Religions
Jessica Harland-Jacobs and Jan Snoek
Chapter 15: Freemasonry and Western Esotericism
Chapter 16: Freemasonry and New Religious Movements
RITUAL, ORGANISATION, AND DIFFUSION
Chapter 17: Masonic Rituals of Initiation
Chapter 18: Freemasonry and Performance
Chapter 19: Masonic Rites and Systems
Arturo De Hoyos
Chapter 20: Relationships between Grand Lodges
Chapter 21: Freemasonry and Friendly Societies
FREEMASONRY, SOCIETY, AND POLITICS
Chapter 22: Freemasonry and Women
Chapter 23: Freemasonry and Blacks
Chapter 24: Freemasonry and Colonialism
Chapter 25: Freemasonry and Nationalism
Chapter 26: Freemasonry and War
FREEMASONRY AND CULTURE
Chapter 27: Freemasonry and Music
Chapter 28: Freemasonry and Literature
Chapter 29: Freemasonry and Modern Art
Chapter 30: Freemasonry and Architecture
James Stevens Curl
Chapter 31: The Material Culture of Freemasonry
Mark J.R. Dennis