2008 Conference | Canonbury Masonic Research Centre | Call for papers
Freemasonry And The
Call for Papers
International Conference organised by CMRC
& Sunday 25-26 October 2008
Academy, 6 Canonbury Place, London N1 2NQ
Papers are invited from scholars of
all disciplines, whether Freemasons or not. Papers should contain original,
hitherto unpublished research, and be fully documented and illustrated. They
need not be narrowly focused and may be wide-ranging as to the content,
chronology, and treatment of the theme.
When freemasons pass through the Second Degree they are urged to study the ‘Liberal Arts and Sciences’. The medieval Masonic text known as the Cooke manuscript declared that geometry was the first of the liberal sciences. Members of the Royal Society, such as Sir Robert Moray, John Desaguliers and Martin Folkes, played a significant part in the early development of Freemasonry, and the link between Freemasonry and the wider development of science in Europe and America during the Enlightenment is widely recognised, with the Parisian Loge des Neuf Soeurs counting among its members Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire and the astronomer Lalande. Prominent scientists have continued to be active as Freemasons. In the last century, such Nobel prizewinners as Edward Appleton, Alexander Fleming, Albert Michelson and Wilhelm Ostwald were all freemasons.
And just as that link has not been limited by time, place or masonic obedience, it also has not been restricted to the recognised empirical sciences, but has included the more esoteric, secret sciences: Elias Ashmole was an alchemist, Ebenezer Sibly was an astrologer, and Charles Richet, another Nobel Prize winner, was a psychical researcher, while Mesmer, Hahnemann, and Still – all pioneers of major branches of complementary medicine – were also freemasons.
To what extent did masonic ideals and practices influence these men? Did their
researches into science, natural and supernatural, enrich Freemasonry itself, or
alter public perceptions of the Craft? What has been the role of Freemasonry in
advancing scientific understanding, and how has science, in its broadest sense,
affected the history and progress of Masonry?
The aim of this conference is to
examine the interplay of science and Freemasonry, and to address a broad
spectrum of the issues that such an examination raises. Proposals for papers,
historical, biographical, philosophical and speculative, relevant to this theme
Deadline for papers is 30 April 2008
– a synopsis of approximately 300 words; by post or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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