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2008. július 31., csütörtök

Szabadkőműves terítékek és terítéken a kelet-európai szabadkőművesség

Szabadkőműves terítékek és terítéken a kelet-európai szabadkőművesség

No. 29: JULY 2008
31st July Lake Wermeln, Sweden

Dear colleagues, dear friends!

I hope this newsletter does not interrupt your summer vacations too much. During
my absence until the end of August, Research Support Coordinator Dorothe Sommer
will be the primary partner for communication with the Centre. Do not hesitate
to contact her on d.sommer@sheffield.ac.uk Meanwhile, the activities of the
Centre continue and I want to inform you about the following:

1) MA-bursaries available
The Province of Yorkshire West Riding of the United Grand Lodge of England has
generously made a bursary available to cover fees and expenses for the
forthcoming resident MA-course on the History of Freemasonry and Fraternalism
to start in Sheffield in October 2008. For more information on this grant and
if you are interested in to apply for it, please access

2) NB! Short notice and deadline: Last reminder

2nd Call for Papers and Conference Announcement

"The Expression of Freemasonry:
Its ritual, oratory, poetry, music, literature, art and architecture"

27-28 November 2008, Leiden, The Netherlands

Organized by:
The Chair for Freemasonry as an Intellectual Current and Socio-cultural European
The Leiden Institute of Religious Studies (Faculty of Humanities), Leiden

Proposals for papers before 1 August 2008 (details below):

For centuries freemasons have led a separate creative existence behind closed
doors. The rituals, orations and poetry used in the lodge use words to express
the society’s hopes, aspirations, philosophy and approach to religion and
society. The music of the lodge includes songs and larger scale cantatas. Many
lodges had an orchestra or at least and organist and a choir. Orchestral and
piano pieces without words but incorporating Masonic symbolism have also been
composed for lodge use. As well as musicians actors have always found a home in
the lodge and some masonic plays even found their way onto the public stage as
did some operas. These songs, poems, musical works and dramas range from the
amusing to the serious, from the occasional to the esoteric, from bawdy to
deeply religious.
Freemasonry and esoteric themes have been widely used by authors in the 19th
century in Germany and elsewhere for literary works as well as in our own time
in e.g. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Masonic and esoteric influences are
also to be seen in the visual arts; for example paintings and theatre scenery.
Freemasonry has exerted an important influence on architecture in general and
in the design of lodge buildings in particular. A perhaps unexpected influence
is to be seen in garden design where some gardens take the visitor on a journey
past masonic or esoteric symbols.
All of these various aspects of Masonic culture need to be recorded and
interpreted. And when this vast creative effort by members of a closed
brotherhood is set in the wider context of the time, place and the society in
which masons wrote and created it sheds light on the evolving place of
freemasonry in society as a whole. This causes us to ask questions such as ‘did
freemasonry influence social development directly or indirectly or was it
itself led by the great upheavals of the Enlightenment, revolutions and wars
that have beset the last centuries?’

Sprekers are students and academic experts in the field of study, including:

- Mrs. Diane Clements, Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London, UK;
- Prof. Emeritus James Stevens Curl, School of Architecture, Leicester’s De
Montford University, UK;
- Prof.dr. Malcolm Davies, Chair for the Study of Freemasonry as an Intellectual
Current and a Socio-cultural European Phenomenon, Leiden University, The
- Dr. Max de Haan, Editor in Chief of Thoth, The Netherlands;
- Mrs. Drs. Andréa Kroon, Leiden University / OVN Foundation, The Hague, The
- Dr. Andreas Önnerfors, Centre for Research into Freemasonry, University of
Sheffield, UK;
- Dr. Andrew Pink, University College London, UK;
- Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Tyssens, Free University Brussels, Belgium.

The program will include a performance and discussion of masonic music.

The conference is organized by the Chair for the Study of Freemasonry as an
Intellectual Current and a Socio-cultural European Phenomenon at the The
Leiden Institute of Religious Studies (Faculty of Humanities), Leiden
University. Speakers will be scholars and students from several academic
The conference has the support of The Order of Freemasons under the Grand East
of The Netherlands, The Cultural Masonic Centre ‘Prince Frederik’ (CMC), The
Foundation for the Advancement of Academic Research into the History of
Freemasonry in The Netherlands (OVN), The Leiden Institute for the Study of
Religions (LISOR), The Sub Department History of Hermetic Philosophy and
Related Currents (Univ. of Amsterdam), the Centre for Research into Freemasonry
(CRF) at the University of Sheffield, FREE / Interdisciplinaire Onderzoeksgroep
Vrijmetselarij (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and departments in other

Call for papers and registration
A summary of potential papers is invited, not exceeding 400 words. Papers on the
cultural heritage of movements similar or related to freemasonry including
esoteric groups are also welcome. A short CV of 250 words or less must be
added. The closing date for submissions is Friday 1 August, 2008. The
Conference committee will inform speakers if their concept for a paper has been
accepted by 15 August 2008.
The conference will take place in The International School at The Hague. The
event will be accessible to all who are interested in attending, but due to a
limited number of seats registration will be required. Registration fees will
be announced shortly. For more information or preliminary registration, please
contact the conference organizers at: f.m.conference.leiden08@gmail.com

Related Event
The conference will be preceded by the inaugural lecture of Prof.dr. Malcolm
Davies, Chair for Freemasonry as an Intellectual Current and a Socio-cultural
European Phenomenon at the University of Leiden on 25 November 2008.
Scholars who are considering attending both events may also be interested in
visiting (at their own opportunity) the important major historical collections
for the study of freemasonry and western esotericism in The Netherlands: the
Cultural Masonic Centre ‘Prince Frederik’ (The library of the Dutch Grand
Lodge) in The Hague and/or the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in
Seating at the inaugural lecture is limited. If you would be interested in
attending the lecture please contact: m.g.davies@religion.leidenuniv.nl

3) Name change/extension of the centre
After considerable discussions and clarifications, a decision has been made to
extend the centres name to include “and fraternalism”. As we already stated in
Newsletter 25 (March 2008), “we believe that [this change] shall generate a
wider appeal for the area of research and that we shall more effectively stress
the interrelationship between the phenomenon of associational life at large and
freemasonry in particular.” A small ceremony to celebrate the manifestation of
this change will take place in September and from then on, we will use our new
name in official correspondence.

4) CRFF newsletter survey
As part of the forthcoming launch of our new website, we are currently
investigating a potential change of the format of this newsletter. Instead of
receiving plain text messages like this in Email-format, we are interested to
see if you would prefer to receive html-coded newsletters that will link you
directly to the section of our website that contains the current and old
versions of the newsletter or if we should offer both versions. We intend to
start with a new format with our 31st newsletter in September. However, we are
keen to hear your views before making any changes to the format and your
assistance would be a great help for us to take the right decision. Therefore,
we have created an online-questionnaire which will take only a few minutes to
complete and which can be found at:

5) ICHF in Edinburgh May 2008
More than 100 proposals for papers and panels have now been received and
circulated to the members of the Academic Committee and will be scrutinized by
end of August.

Please remember also the initiative from some PhD-students to create a forum for
Young Researchers during the conference (For further information you can
contact Anaïs Maes, PhD student at the Free University of Brussels, through
email: anais.maes@vub.ac.be. )

6) Autumn Lecture series
After a break of two terms, the Centre will again commence a public lecture
series. We have decided to develop a new format and give each series of
lectures a theme. The first theme will be “Freemasonry and Fraternalism in the
Middle East”. More information about it will soon be published on our website
freemasonry.dept.shef.ac.uk/ with subjects ranging from comparisons between
Sufis and Masons (by Thierry Zarcone) to the Grand Orient de France and the
Constitutional Revolution in Iran between 1906 and 1911. All lectures will take
place in the HRI/CRF building at 34 Gell Street in Sheffield every second
Monday starting in October 2nd at 17.15. After the lectures and some time for
questions, there will be some refreshments. All are welcome to attend.

For spring 2009, we have chosen “Freemasonry and Fraternalism in Eastern

7) Film series
Additionally, in cooperation with the cultural centre The Showroom in Sheffield
(www.showroom.org.uk), during the Autumn we will show a series of films that
consider freemasonry from different aspects with panelled discussions taking
place afterwards. On Monday, October 13th the French anti-masonic
propagandafilm ‘Forces Occultes’ will be shown at 18.30, for the first time
ever with English subtitles. At the same time on Monday, November 10th the
audience will be able to see ‘The Scottish Key’. Further information will be
provided soon on our website

8) The Temple Legend: Links between Freemasonry, Theosophy and Anthroposophy – a
study day 1st November 2008, Sheffield
The Centre invites you to a study day on the Temple Legend and the links between
Freemasonry, Theosophy and Anthroposophy. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), founder
of Anthroposophy (related to Theosophy), in his lectures on the Temple Legend
extensively treats freemasonry (and other movements such as Rosicrucians and
Druids) and its background, often in a thought-provoking way compared to the
masonic tradition.

The programme for the study day will be announced later, but one of its
intentions is to spark off future seminars like this on the topic of the temple
as an icon and idea in human thought. Furthermore, the study day is part of a
co-operation on the production of a stage version of The Temple Legend, written
by playwright Peter Oswald (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Oswald).

9) Successful application to HERA
Together with a dozen European partners, the Centre has been successful in
receiving a grant in order to prepare a large application to the European
funding organisation HERA. The title and abstract of the proposed project read
as follows:

“(COME) Culture of Mobility in Europe, European Mobility of Culture: Fraternal
Organisations and their Roll as Cultural Mediators and Carrier-groups

Cultural dynamics can only be created by the mobility of its actors. Culture in
European space is characterised by its transgressing qualities. The aim of our
preparatory workshop is to discuss these two basic assumptions applied to an
analysis of cultural carrier groups (freemasonry and other fraternal
organisations) that act as mediators in a cultural transfer in Europe in a
period of substantial change between the 18th and 19th centuries. Our ambition
is to determine these carrier groups as actors in trans-national networks in
which culture, cultural praxis and performance are communicated. We attempt to
analyse membership records, travel documents as well as cultural products and
ritual performance and their impact for the construction of cultural identities
in a shifting world. Furthermore, we aim at to re-perform music and rituals of
these organisations as a part of the research output, thus creating new ways of
dissemination and knowledge-transfer.”

10) Review of the exhibition “Square meals” by PhD-student Julie Banham,
University of Sheffield

Square Meals: 300 years of Masonic dining
Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, until 26th September 2008.

This wide-ranging exhibition introduces the theme of dining and how it has
evolved over the years to form a key role in the sociable, charitable and
ritualistic life of masonry. Earthernware, china, glass, silver, wood, paper,
copper are amongst the materials thrown, turned, painted, cast, blown, etched,
inlaid and printed by professionals and amateurs alike to produce a collection
of items and allegories drawn from a broad range of classical and mythological
cultural references.

The exhibition begins with an assemblage of items representing a medieval
mason’s meal, taken as part of his wages in the form of a midday dinner. It
ranges through the eighteenth century, with its focus on sociability and
conviviality, past Table Lodges and their tracing boards, tiles, trewels and
canons, pays heed to the nineteenth-century with its fondness for etiquette and
ceremony which caused festive boards to be separated from the main ritual and
ends with a nod towards Temperance Lodges and a collection of twentieth-century
ephemera from graces and menus, gifts and memorabilia celebrating The Ladies’

Yet, I came away with more questions than answers and a feeling that this was an
opportunity missed. So much was left unexplained, so little context given. The
medieval meal of pottage, made from dried pulses with a little bacon or fish on
Holy Days was well represented and connected the life of the mason with the
outside world. However, it is very unlikely that knives and spoons made from
silver and mother of pearl would have been seen on a medieval building site.

An undated quote from the 3rd edition of Ahiman Rezon criticised those who used
‘knives and forks instead of masons’ working tools’. Why? Was this simply a
way for the Antients to mock the Moderns or does it reflect some of the wider
social and cultural changes taking place at the time? During the
eighteenth-century many of the middling sorts used politeness and the goods and
spaces it informed, such as knives and forks, and separate rooms for eating, to
distinguish themselves from other sectors of society – was this what was
happening here? Was the criticism symptomatic of Masonic rivalry or broader
cultural changes?

In his poem, The Mother Lodge, Rudyard Kipling refers to ‘the hog-darn passin’
down’ the table, and there are three fine specimens in the form silver
war-elephants bearing braziers on display. In the same poem, Kipling also
claimed ‘We dursn't give no banquets,
 Lest a Brother's caete were
broke’. What a missed opportunity! Masonsic insights into multi-cultural
hospitality would have been fascinating and so relevant to modern life.

The range of symbols from Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures was bewildering.
Some could be identified as masonic, although their meanings were not
explained. Others were influenced by contemporary Neoclassical and
naturalistic fashions but again, no information as whether pieces were made to
commission, how the design came into being or what they signified. The Loving
Cup of the Lodge of Innocence and Morality, No. 573, shows a lid with acorn
finial and acanthus border, surmounting a base with an inscription enclosed by
borders of acanthus leaves, vine and grapes and two writhing, knotted serpents
for handles. Much of the symbolism can be attributed to the allegory of wine,
even though it is gleaned from a variety of diverse backgrounds, but is that
what it means to masons? Whilst hallmarks were evident neither the date nor
manufacturer were given yet these details would help to understand the context
in which it was made. A dictionary or glossary of the symbols, their origins
and what they meant to masons would be a great help.

The exhibition demonstrates that masonic dining has a rich and varied culture
from which much can be learnt. Linking it to events in the wider world is
essential for a greater understanding of how freemasonry drew upon contemporary
social and cultural movements to help form its own identity and rituals.

Editorial comment to the review: We encourage the readers of our newsletter
warmly to visit the exhibition and to share your opinion on it with us.

Best wishes,

Andreas Önnerfors

Dr. Andreas Önnerfors
Director / Senior Lecturer
Centre for Research into Freemasonry
34 Gell Street
Sheffield S3 7QY
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 9893
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 98 94
Email: a.onnerfors@sheffield.ac.uk
Website: www.freemasonry.dept.shef.ac.uk/
Join the group "Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism"

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