Handbook of Freemasonry

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.

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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.
Lo Handbook offre una veduta estremamente ampia e circostanziata della Massoneria come soggetto di studio, proponendo un approccio estremamente ancorato al rigore documentario e senza concedere o togliere nulla ai diversi soggetti affrontati, secondo una linea di indagine scevra da apriorismi partigiani e antiscientifici o, di converso, da ostilità più o meno inconfessate. Di fatto, uno degli scopi di questo imponente saggio è proprio quello di risultare intellegibile e soprattutto scientificamente utile sia agli addetti ai lavori, sia a quegli storici che, pur non essendo esperti di vicende libero-muratorie, hanno necessità di trovare una guida affidabile e ben documentata su tale soggetto di studio. In questo senso la liberazione degli studi massonici come dominio di ricerca pienamente autonomo, sdoganato da riserve confessionali o persecutorie, ma anche riportato a quella necessaria competenza professionale, che così lo riscatta finalmente da un certo (e ampiamente praticato) dilettantismo, merita una forte attenzione. - Antonio C. D. Panaino in: HIRAM no.1, 2015.
CONTENTS Acknowledgements List of Contributors List of Illustrations Chapter 1: Introduction Henrik Bogdan and Jan Snoek PART I HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES Chapter 2: The History of Freemasonry: An Overview Jan Snoek and Henrik Bogdan Chapter 3: The Old Charges Andrew Prescott Chapter 4: The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland David Stevenson Chapter 5: The Origins of Freemasonry: England Matthew Scanlan Chapter 6: Freemasonry and Templarism Pierre Mollier Chapter 7: Freemasonry and the Enlightenment Margaret Jacob and Matthew Crow Chapter 8: Masonic Historiography Charles Porset PART II FREEMASONRY AND RELIGION Chapter 9: Freemasonry and the Catholic Church José A. Ferrer Benimeli Chapter 10: Freemasonry and the Orthodox Churches Jean-François Var Chapter 11: Freemasonry and Protestant Churches Guy Liagre Chapter 12: Freemasonry and Judaism Robert Jan van Pelt Chapter 13: Freemasonry and Islam Thierry Zarconne Chapter 14: Freemasonry and Eastern Religions Jessica Harland-Jacobs and Jan Snoek Chapter 15: Freemasonry and Western Esotericism Henrik Bogdan Chapter 16: Freemasonry and New Religious Movements Massimo Introvigne PART III RITUAL, ORGANISATION, AND DIFFUSION Chapter 17: Masonic Rituals of Initiation Jan Snoek Chapter 18: Freemasonry and Performance Kristiane Hasselmann Chapter 19: Masonic Rites and Systems Arturo De Hoyos Chapter 20: Relationships between Grand Lodges Jan Snoek Chapter 21: Freemasonry and Friendly Societies Daniel Weinbren PART IV FREEMASONRY, SOCIETY, AND POLITICS Chapter 22: Freemasonry and Women Jan Snoek Chapter 23: Freemasonry and Blacks Cecile Révauger Chapter 24: Freemasonry and Colonialism Jessica Harland-Jacobs Chapter 25: Freemasonry and Nationalism Jeffrey Tyssens Chapter 26: Freemasonry and War François Rognon PART V FREEMASONRY AND CULTURE Chapter 27: Freemasonry and Music Malcolm Davies Chapter 28: Freemasonry and Literature R.A. Gilbert Chapter 29: Freemasonry and Modern Art Marijo Ariens-Volker Chapter 30: Freemasonry and Architecture James Stevens Curl Chapter 31: The Material Culture of Freemasonry Mark J.R. Dennis