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2009. április 30., csütörtök

CRFF Newsletter 37

University of Sheffield

The Centre for Research into Freemasonry

CRFF Newsletter 37 (2009:4)
April 2009
Dear colleagues and friends,
We hope that you appreciate the following reports on past and upcoming events.
All the best,
Andreas Önnerfors
1) CRFF Events in May
After our Easter break the lecture series was resumed on April 30 with a well-attended lecture by Robert Cooper from the Grand Lodge of Scotland talking on “Scottish Freemasons in St. Petersburg 1784-1794”. The lecture will soon be made available as podcast on our website. Our next event will be the second film screening for this term, on Monday May 11, 6.30 pm at The Showroom Cinema in Sheffield S1 2BX, when we will show “Bobby Bumps starts a lodge” and “Sons of the Desert”, followed by a panel discussion (Andrew Prescott and Sheldon Hall). Three days later, on Thursday May 14, 5.15 pm, Mattias Nowak from Lund university in Sweden will speak on “Freemasonry, Catholicism and Polish National Identity – a historical overview” followed a week later, on Thursday May 21, by Professor Anthony Cross from Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge treating “Anglo-Russian Masonic links During the Reign of Catherine the Great”. The final lecture in our series will be presented on Thursday May 28 by Natalie Bayer, UCLA (see below) speaking on “The ‘Societé Antiabsurde’: Catherine the Great and Freemasonry”.
It is intended to edit the lectures in a volume, scheduled for publication in September 2009.
2) CRFF publication “Freemasonry and Fraternalism in the Middle East”
Vol. 1 of Sheffield Lectures on the History of Freemasonry and Fraternalism
The volume Freemasonry and Fraternalism in the Middle East comes out of a series of lectures held in the autumn of 2008. The CRFF succeeded in attracting leading international specialists to deliver lectures on this hitherto largely neglected field of research. The scope of the papers ranged from the early eighteenth-century up to the beginning of the twentieth-century and included topics related to the Ottoman Empire, Iran and India. We are selling this publication for a non-profit price of £ 20 covering our expenses for print and distribution. For instructions on how to order this title, please see below.
To order and pay for this title
If you want to order this title, please use following methods of payment:
a) within the UK
Either you send a cheque issued to University of Sheffield, ”CRFF Volume” to our postal address CRFF, 34 Gell Street, S3 7QY Sheffield with a clear indication of your address or you use the Credit Card payment form below. Payments can also be processed online. Under "12. remarks" please write "Volume 1 CRFF publication".
b) outside the UK
No cheques are accepted from outside the UK. You will have to pay by credit card using the form below. Payments can also be processed online. Under "12. remarks" please write "Volume 1 CRFF publication".
NB! The Credit Card form will have to be filled in correctly and the payment must have been authorised from your account so that we are able to send you the book.
3) Strengthening the Centres research profile on British freemasonry: A new postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre
It is our pleasure to report that the Centre has been able to recruit Dr. Róbert Péter from the University of Szeged in Hungary. His studies will be funded by way of a prestigious British Academy Visiting Fellowship Scheme as well as through an Eötvös Scholarship from the Hungarian government. Dr. Péter is well known for his groundbreaking research on ideological aspects of English freemasonry. In 2006 he defended his thesis “The Mysteries of English Freemasonry: Janus-Faced Masonic Ideology and Practice Between 1696 and 1815”. He presented a paper at the first ICHF in Edinburgh in 2007, entitled “Seven dimensions of Masonic Religiosity in the Age of Reason” and has lectured on English freemasonry at the conferences of the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies and at numerous other occasions. Dr. Péter, who is also the review editor for the Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, will be affiliated with the Centre in Sheffield from September 2009.
4) (Postdoctoral) research positions on freemasonry at UCLA
Furthermore we are pleased to announce that the Grand Lodge of the State of California has awarded the History department at UCLA the cost of a one year post-doctoral fellowship in the history of fraternalism and freemasonry which will go to Natalie Bayer, (Ph.D. Rice University) who is writing extensively on Russian freemasonry, and foreign contacts in the period 1750 to 1850. Natalie Bayer has lectured on Russian freemasonry at the conference on “The Expressions of Freemasonry” in Leiden in 2008. She will present a lecture at the CRFF on May 28 and will also deliver a paper at the second ICHF in Edinburgh.
In addition, a Research Assistantship at UCLA will go to Matthew Crow, who is a fourth year graduate student in American history with an interest in republicanism and Thomas Jefferson. Both will develop one course each, on the history of European and American fraternalism and freemasonry, with the curricula being available to all on the Internet.
5) Can Freemasonry be secular? An event organised by the Grand Orient de France in the UK London, May 9, 10-12 am, free entry
Radical Traditions in British Freemasonry
Andrew Prescott
Secularity - Communities - Freemasonry: A Historian's Reflexion on the Belgian Case
Jeffrey Tyssens
For more information, see www.logehiram.org.uk/index-eng.html
6) Centenary of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research, MAMR, May 27
Morning – visits to Chetham’s and Rylands’ Libraries
Afternoon - Presidential welcome, followed by the 2009 Prestonian Lecture: Go and do thou likewise: English Masonic Processions from the 18th to the 20th Centuries by Dr John Wade (MAMR and Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076)
• The Synagogue and the Lodge: Aspects of the fraternal integration of Jews in early America by Dr Susan Mitchell Sommers (USA)
• Craftswomen in the Old Charges, in the building trade and as Stonemasons by Philip Carter (Australia) presented by Fred Lomax (MAMR)
• British Freemasonry - Fact or Fiction? By Dr Bob James (Australia) This lecture will be particularly interesting for those from other fraternal organizations.
Question and Comment time
Evening - Drinks reception, followed by a Centenary Dinner.
For more information, see: www.mamr.co.uk
7) The Second ICHF in Edinburgh May 28 - 30
The preparation of the programme has now reached its final phase. Within the next 10 days the final program will be published on
The recipients of this newsletter will also receive a conference update that we are passing on from the conference organisers.
8) The Temple: The Story of Solomon, Hiram and the Queen of Sheba, a play by Peter Oswald, May 14 – June 19
As announced earlier, a play on the Temple legend will be performed at a number of locations around the UK in May and June 2009, written by Peter Oswald and directed by Michael Chase. The play was commissioned by Aonghus Gordon, founder and director of Ruskin Mill Educational Trust (RMET, www.rmet.org.uk), and will be directed and performed by staff and students of the three RMET colleges: Ruskin Mill College in Nailsworth, The Glasshouse College in Stourbridge and Freeman College in Sheffield. Peter Oswald was writer in residence at The Globe Theatre in London for ten years and has written plays performed in the West End and at The National Theatre. The play is unusual in being written in modern English yet in a Shakespearian form and has been described a production that “breathes new life into the legend using the magic of mask and puppetry, eurythmy and song, in a blend of styles and traditions to keep you on the edge of your seat.”
The play will be performed in Stourbridge (Location: DY8 4HF; Info: theatre@gmc.rmet.org.uk) on May 14-15, in Stroud (Location: GL5 1AE; Info: subscription.rooms@stroud.gov.uk) on June 4-5 and in Sheffield (Location: S5 6SG; Info phylis.eblett@fmc.rmet.org.uk) on June 7. The play will also be performed in a London venue at the Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, NW1 6XT (Info: theatre@gmc.rmet.org.uk) on Friday June 19.
The Centre has been involved in this project in several ways, taking part in the first reading of the play and co-arranging two well-attended workshops. A third workshop on the Temple legend will take place on Saturday May 23 at Glasshouse College, Wollaston Road, Amblecote, Stourbridge, DY8 4HF. For tickets and information please contact Glasshouse Arts Centre, Box Office: 01384 399 430, Information: 01384 399 458 theatre@gmc.rmet.org.uk
9) Lecture series on “The Real History of the World”
The Rudolf Steiner House in London runs a Tuesday lecture series starting on May 5, devoted this summer to the topic “The real History of the World”. See www.rsh.anth.org.uk/pages/tues_talks.html for further details. The lecture series this term includes lectures on ancient mysteries, Cathars, Knights Templar and Rosicrucians. The director of the CRFF, Andreas Önnerfors, will talk on Tuesday June 9 on “Freemasonry: Syncretism of Esotericism and New Philosophy”.
10) Call for Papers for the CMRC's Eleventh International Conference, 24-25 October 2009
Following on from ten years of successful international conferences, The Canonbury Masonic Research Centre is pleased to announce a call for papers for its eleventh international annual conference, which this year will be on The Origins of Freemasonry. Scholars of all disciplines are invited to submit ideas for papers on sociological, political, cultural, religious, esoteric and prosopographical themes relating to early Freemasonry. Papers can be wide ranging in content or more narrowly focused, however, all should be fully documented as the Centre plans to publish a volume of post conference transactions. All proposals for papers must consist of no more than 250-300 words and should be sent in writing to: Conference Organiser, Canonbury Masonic Research Centre, Canonbury Tower, Canonbury Place, London N1 2NQ. Please be sure to enclose both your contact details and a potted CV with your proposal. The deadline for all submissions is 24 June 2009. 
For any further information please contact the conference organizer at: biee@btinternet.com
11) Call for papers – Symposium on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism
National Heritage Museum, Lexington, Massachusetts April 2010
New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism – Friday, April 9, 2010
The National Heritage Museum announces a call for papers for its first biannual symposium, “New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism,” to be held on Friday, April 9, 2010 at the Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts.
The National Heritage Museum is an American history museum founded and supported by Scottish Rite Freemasons in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States. As the repository of the largest collection of American Masonic and fraternal objects, books and manuscripts in the United States, the Museum aims to foster new research on American fraternalism and to encourage the use of its scholarly resources.
The symposium seeks to present the newest research on American fraternal groups from the past through the present day. By 1900, over 250 American fraternal groups existed, numbering six million members. The study of their activities and influence in the United States, past and present, offers the potential for new interpretations of American society and culture. Diverse perspectives on this topic are sought; proposals are invited from a broad range of research areas, including history, material and visual culture, anthropology, sociology, literary studies and criticism, gender studies, political science, African American studies, art history, economics, or any combination of disciplines. Perspectives on and interpretations of all time periods are welcome.
Possible topics include:
  • Comparative studies of American fraternalism and European or other international forms of fraternalism
  • Prince Hall Freemasonry and other African-American fraternal groups
  • Ethnically- and religiously-based fraternal groups
  • Fraternal groups for women or teens
  • Role of fraternal groups in social movements
  • The material culture of Freemasonry and fraternalism
  • Anti-Masonry and anti-fraternal movements, issues and groups
  • Fraternal symbolism and ritual
  • The expression of Freemasonry and fraternalism through art, music, and literature
  • Approaches to Freemasonry – from disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transnational perspectives; the historiography and methodology of the study of American fraternalism
Proposals should be for 30 minute research papers; the day’s schedule will allow for audience questions and feedback. Proposal Format: Submit an abstract of 400 words or less with a resume or c.v. that is no more than two pages. Be sure to include full contact information (name, address, email, phone, affiliation). Send proposals to: Aimee E. Newell, Director of Collections, National Heritage Museum, by email at anewell@monh.org or by mail to 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA 02421. Deadline for proposals to be received is August 15, 2009. For more information about the National Heritage Museum, see www.nationalheritagemuseum.org. For questions, contact Aimee E. Newell as above, or call 781-457-4144.
12) Conference on Women and Freemasonry in Bordeaux, 2010
A conference on Women and Freemasonry is under preparation for June 2010 in cooperation between the University of Bordeaux III, the University of Sheffield (CRFF) and the UCLA. A Call for Papers will be issued shortly.
13) Review of the Workshop on masonic and special collections museums at Rosenau Castle in Austria, April 17 2009, by Dorothe Sommer
Invited to a workshop organised by Austrian freemasons but aimed at speakers involved in the daily work of museums, I was probably the only one not related to the public display of famous persons (Mozart), religious communities (Jews) or freemasons in general. The organisers, the Museum and Archive of Austrian Freemasonry in Schloss Rosenau (see www.freimaurermuseum.at) asked for new ideas, experiences, suggestions for improvements related to museums, archives or connected research institutions, and their perception of their own tasks, significance of public involvement, as well as the public’s interest, future opportunities and risks.
As first speaker on Friday morning I had the opportunity to indicate with my lecture a certain direction of the subsequent discussions and contributions.
After all attendants were welcomed by Prof Dr Kowalski and Dr Mag Wolf, my lecture dealt with the subject of museums and archives and their interdependence. Taking a private initiative in Lebanon as example I described the problems for researchers confronted with restraints forced upon them: lack of communication between different grand bodies, missing interest in freemasonry beyond Europe, absence of networks between academic institutions, museums, masonic research platforms and archives and finally, the difficult financial situation for individual initiatives. Not everyone agreed; different attitudes towards research into masonic matters reflected varying backgrounds: some were more committed to academic research, some more involved in masonic life.
Diane Clements, Director of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London presented in her powerpoint presentation projects of the UGLE and made clear that the Grand Lodge is not only open for modern methods but also focuses on the outreach to the general public. A simple little booklet replying to FAQs proved how effective text in the right context can be which was exactly one of the critical remarks made by the following speaker.
Thad Peterson, director of the Museum of Freemasonry in Bayreuth (Germany, see museum.freimaurer.org) reported on his experiences with visitors of the museum: crucial is not only technology and modernisation but also moving towards the public. During the workshop it was made clear that times changed – while in earlier days people would approach museums, now one had to think the other way around: In how far can we, the institutions, reach out to the public? Fetch them where they are? Peterson asked to dispense with large amounts of text, displayed in museums (an appeal complying with the booklets from the UGLE) – according to him, in our days, museums were visited not only to entertain but also to relax and enjoy – they should not be equalised with efforts and work.
Although the next speaker, Stephane Ceccaldi from the Chateau Versailles, was unable to attend, his paper, recited by Dr Wolf, emphasised the necessity of communication and new technology to attract new publics in specialised museums – as a masonic one.
Coming from Prague, Lubos Antonin treated the problems of organising exhibitions on freemasonry in the Czech Republic, The challenge is not only to find objects, but also appropriate venues and ways of disseminating the information. In Budweis and Kunín exhibitions on freemasonry have been organised, but the realisation of a museum on freemasonry in the Czech republic is far.
While Susanne Winkler’s lecture was dedicated to the renovations and new initiatives of the Museum, Winkler, curator for the ‘Museum Wien’, not only mentioned the necessity to approach the public but also the different means taken to succeed therein: the museum developed a complete new concept considering socio-political contexts and included for the first time also the 20th century. Collections were made better visible and new objects asked for interactivity with the visitors. Among the many new approaches was one I liked the most: celebrating its 50th birthday the museum asked Vienna’s population to bring and send whatever they think symbolises or is typical for the capital. These objects were then arranged as artwork.
Gerhard Vitek, Director of the ‘Mozarthaus’, presented the history of the house’s change and its assimilation to modern conditions: central here were new technology and entertainment or personal experience for every individual visitor. Vitek demonstrated how the financial means of his institutions had been used to transform the museum into a modern, highly developed event-establishment.
The director of the Jewish Museum in Vienna, Marcus Patka, on the other side, included practical issues like transport connections and service features. Patka also made the point that it had to be differentiated between public and non-public masonic museums.
The concluding discussion showed that most significant for museums is to reach to the public and to find the right way to attract new visitors. Task of archives is to make deeper research possible for everyone and to deliver the base for the topics treated by museum. A “steady flexibility” and dynamics is demanded from both of them. Having been privileged to participate, I enjoyed the entire stay and returned with a lot of new ideas, contacts and confidence. There is still a lot to do but it is not impossible.

© 2008 The University of Sheffield

Dr. Andreas Önnerfors
Director / Senior Lecturer in History
Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism
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/
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