Conference The Expression of Freemasonry, Leiden University - call for papers
for Papers and Preliminary Conference Announcement
Expression of Freemasonry:
ritual, oratory, poetry, music, literature, art and architecture
November 2008, Leiden University, The Netherlands
for papers before 11 July 2008 (details below) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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??
conference is organized by the Chair for the Study of Freemasonry as an
Intellectual Current and a Socio-cultural Phenomenon at the Leiden University in
the Netherlands. Speakers will be scholars and students from several academic
disciplines. 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) and departments in other universities.
for papers and registration
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 11 July, 2008. The Conference
committee will inform speakers if their concept for a paper has been accepted by
1 August 2008.
conference will take place in the Lipsius Building of the Leiden University in
the Netherlands. 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: email@example.com
conference will be preceded by the inaugural lecture of Professor Malcolm
Davies, Chair for the Study of 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
Amsterdam. Seating at the inaugural lecture is limited.