Freemasons condemn acts of terror in Oslo

Masonic organisations worldwide are deeply shocked by the suffering caused in Oslo. Because the eleged interest in freemasonry by the perpetrator has been sensationalised in various media, the Order of Freemasons under the Grand East of the Netherlands has issued a statement on it's website, condemning the violence. It can be viewed by following this link.


The Patriot Mason

Washington in masonic
regalia, portrait presented
by Henry Wellcome.
Photo: www.freemasonry.
On Independence Day, Monday 4th July, a new exhibition was opened in the Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London: The Patriot Mason: Freemason-ry in American Society. It explores the role of freemasonry in America from the 18th century to the present day, drawing on rarely seen objects from the museum’s own collections. One of the world’s rarest Masonic books – published by Benjamin Franklin in 1734 – will be displayed alongside the elaborate regalia worn by American freemasons. The exhibition will be close un 22 December 2011.

New publications

The postprints of the conference on women and freemasonry, organized at the University of Bordeaux 3 in 2010 are now available: Cécile Révauger/Jacques Lemaire (eds.), Les femmes et la franc-maçonnerie. Des Lumières à nos jours: Volume 1. XVIIIe et XIXe siècles, Volume 2. XXe et XXIe siècles, La Pensée et les Hommes 2011. A 20 % discount offer applies to orders received before 15 September 2011: € 40 for both volumes + € 7.10 postage.  Orders: christiane.loir@ulb.ac.be.

- André Hanou, De loge Concordia Vincit Animos te Amsterdam. Namenlijsten (1755-ca 1825), Astraea, 2011, ISBN 978 90 75179 30 9, 75 pages, € 10,-. Lodge Concordia Vincit Animos (CVA) was constituted on 14 april 1755 and is still active in Amsterdam today. During the first 75 years, this lodge counted many authors, politicians and other 'thinkers' amongst its members. The book contains the membership and visitor lists between 1755 and 1825. These show that the lodge had a very cosmopolitan character, with visitors arriving from Western Europe, but also the East and West Indies.

- Jan A.M. Snoek, Einführung in die Westliche Esoterik, für Freimaurer, lodge Modestia cum Libertate, Zürich 2011, 271 pag., 40 CHF (ca. € 31) plus verzendkosten. Snoek discusses the history of various esoteric currents with significance for the development of freemasonry: Astrology, Neuplatonism, Gnosticism, Alchemy, Cabbalism, Hermeticism, the Astrea-cult, Rosicrucianism and Occultism, as well as the building traditions. The last chapter provides examples of their influence of freemasonry. While the book was written for a masonic audience, students and scholars will also benefit from this introduction into the subject. Orders: bi@modestia.ch.

- Helmut Reinalter, Geheimbünde in Tirol. Von der Aufklärung bis zur Revolution 1848/49, (Quellen und Darstellungen zur europäischen Freimaurerei 12), Studienverlag, Innsbruck 2011, ISBN 978-3-7065-4461-0, 292 pag., € 39.90. Revised and expanded edition of a standard work dating from 1982, which discusses the role of freemasonry in political and cultural developments in the late Enlightenment in Tirol.
From the same publisher: Reinhold Dosch, Deutsches Freimaurerlexikon, (Edition zum rauhen Stein 14), Studienverlag, Innsbruck 2011, ISBN 978-3-7065-4522-8, 416 pag, € 49.90.

- P.L. Dunbar, 'Hidden in Plain Sight: African American Secret Societies and Black Freemasonry', Journal of African American Studies (2011), pp. 1-16. [thanks to Robert Peter.]

- Elly Keus, In de voetsporen van Rakoczy. Het honderdjarige bestaan van een bijzondere loge, De Steensplinter, 2011. Lodge Rakoczy was founded in The Hague 1911 by the Dutch branch of the International Order of Co-Masonry 'Le Droit Humain', but separated from the Orden together with two other mixed lodges. They founded a new Order, the Nederlandsch Verbond van Vrijmetselaren (which translates as The Dutch Union of Freemasons) in 1917. Lodge Rakoczy attracted many artist members, including the well known architect K.P.C. De Bazel. He designed a temple complex in The Hague, which housed both the theosophical and masonic lodges of which De Bazel was a member. The building is now part of the Museum of Communication. 

Rose Croix Exhibition

The Belgian Museum of Freemasonry hosts an exhibition on masonic jewelry until 31 October 2011: From Utopia to Knowledge. On display are 134 jewels of the Rose Croix degree from the Guéguen collection. They are dated between ca. 1760 and 1890 and often executed in gold or silver and embellished with precious stones. This private collection was previously the subject of a publication: Robert Vanloo, Les Bijoux Rose+Croix, uitgeverij Dervy 2003.

Call for papers

The School of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tampere is organizing an international conference titled: Edges of Freemasonry - Western Esotericism and the Enlightenment, to take place on 7–8 September 2012. The conference, organized in association with the Research Lodge Minerva No. 27, is open to scholars, freemasons and the public.
The key themes to be discussed are: The historical constitution of freemasonry; the connections between western esotericism and the development of modern science; symbols as cultural artefacts and transmission objects between the personal and the transcendence; extending the rational: rites, intuition and religious experience in western subjectivity. Keynote speakers are Professor Ronald Hutton (University of Bristol, U.K.), Dr. Róbert Péter (University of Szeged, Hungary), Dr. Henrik Bogdan (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) and Mr. Antti Talvitie, Architect MSc. (Seinäjoki, Finland).
Paper proposalss for general sessions (abstract 400—600 words) should be sent via email to Mr. Antti Harmainen (papers[at]edges.fi) and Ms. Katariina Lehto (papers[at]symposium.fi) before 31 January 2012; papers for other sessions may be sent later. For registration and details of the conference, please see http://www.edges.fi/.

Seamen freemasons

- A new, expanded edition is available of the Dictionnaire des marins francs-maçons. Gens de mer et professions connexes aux XVIIIe, XIXe et XXe siècles, with a preface by Pierre Mollier, Éditions SPM 2011, ISBN 978-2-901952-81-7, 572 pages, containing 5000 names. Orders: diffusion.harmattan@wanadoo.fr. Price: € 46,50.

- Travaux de la Loge de recherche en histoire maçonnicomaritime 'La Pérouse', (Éditions Le Phare de Misaine), Volume VII (2011), ISBN 978-2-917827-03-1, 140 pag., € 12. Journal on the relationship between freemasonry and maritime history, with articles on subjects as: 'La loge dunkerquoise Les Vrais Bataves', 'Joseph Henri François de Gantès, un officier de marine franc-maçon au XVIIIe siècle', 'Le corsaire François Thurot et le mystérieux Ordre de Coldin', 'Le Livre d’Architecture de la Mariners’ Lodge de New York de 1825 à 1847', ‘Le vice-amiral Platon et la lutte contre les sociétés secrètes’. Orders: aspoma@rllaperouse.org.

- The Lettre Periodique d'Histoire Maritime Cercle Thomas Dunkerley also deserves a mention in relation to the subject. Registration for this digital newsletter at: aspoma@rllaperouse.org.

Dispersed Nazi Records of Looted Art

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany is supporting a series of projects aiming to make the Nazi records of cultural plunder during World War II publicly available. These projects have located and documented original files of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), the primary Nazi agency responsible for looting cultural valuables in Nazi-occupied countries. The ERR's records include not only art objects, but also items taken from libraries, archives, Masonic lodges, and religious buildings in the occupied countries of Western and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Reconstructing the Record of Nazi Cultural Plunder: A Survey of the Dispersed Archives of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) by by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted has been published online at www.iisg.nl/publications/errsurvey.  In addition to the publication of the survey, the Claims Conference is supporting two additional initiatives. One is the ongoing imaging of the ERR files located in Kiev, Moscow, Vilnius, Berlin, Koblenz, Amsterdam, Paris, New York, and Washington. The other is the joint initiative of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to create a Database of Art Objects at the Jeu de Paume in Paris that brings together all documentation in a searchable form. The website was launched in October 2010 and can be found at: www.errproject.org/jeudepaume.