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Edges of Freemasonry, Univ. of Tampere, Finland, Call for Papers




7–8 September 2012, University of Tampere,

This two-day conference is an international and academic event organized by the University of Tampere School of Social Sciences and Humanities in association with The Research Lodge Minerva No.27 of the Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of Finland.

Edges of Freemasonry – Western Esotericism and the Enlightenment aims to investigate exceptional but prominent new currents in human sciences. The conference focuses on modern Freemasonry as a cultural and historically constituted phenomenon but also seeks to create a dialogue with wider contexts like the Enlightenment and especially the history of western esotericism, which has increasingly attracted the attention of academic research. On this basis the conference organizers are hoping to establish a multi-disclipinary and discursive environment to study western cultural and intellectual life from standpoints hitherto somewhat neglected by scholarship.

The conference is open to scholars, researchers and post-graduate students from various disciplines as well as members of masonic lodges and the general public. The conference will take place at the University of Tampere on 7–8 September 2012. The conference language is English.

The deadline for proposals for an international conference on Freemasonry, Western Esotericism and the development of the Enlightenment ideas is approaching.

The conference is a two-day event open to scholars, postgraduate students and students, likewise to the members of masonic lodges and the public. The conference language is English.

The keynote speakers of the symposium 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).

Freemasonry is among the most widespread spiritual communities and has had a significant role in diverse ideological currents often named western esotericism. Freemasonry, which is at least 300 years old, is firmly rooted in the tradition of the Enlightenment. Western esotericism and freemasonry have increasingly attracted attention from academic research. As a unique yet also controversial phenomenon freemasonry provides a dynamic standpoint for the study of western cultural and intellectual life which from this point of view has been much neglected.

The key themes are:

1 The historical constitution of freemasonry

2 The connections between western esotericism and the development of modern science

3 Gender and nationality in the history of western esotericism

4 Extending the rational: rites, intuition and religious experience in western subjectivity

The conference board welcomes all scholarly presentations, also from postgraduates, related to the themes or concepts of the Enlightenment, freemasonry, esotericism or the occult.

The organizers hope that proposals for the general sessions will be sent not later than 30 March 2012. Speakers are asked to supply their contact information, the title of the presentation and a short abstract (400—600 words). The abstract should preferably be sent via email to the conference secretary Mr. Antti Harmainen ( and to conference secretary Ms. Katariina Lehto (

For registration and details of the conference, please see For further information please do not hesitate to contact the secretaries or Professor Risto Harisalo (ri

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