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Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism

Published/Hosted by Equinox Publishing Ltd. ISSN (printed): 1757-2460. ISSN (electronic): 1757-2479.

We are pleased to announce the launch of The Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, the first academic journal dedicated to scholarly contributions in an ever-growing area of research. The journey towards the establishment of research into freemasonry and fraternalism as an academic topic took more than two hundred and fifty years. When in 1717 four lodges in London decided to form the first Grand lodge, an amazing development in associational life in Europe began. Freemasonry in our understanding has however to be subsumed under a larger scope of analysis -- fraternalism, meaning an element of human culture and nature that represents the idea of organized community. Fraternal associations ranging from the garden of Epicure via the guilds of the Middle Ages to communities on the Internet share common features and inner dynamics. Freemasonry is a very well developed and documented fraternal organization and it makes sense to study it in its own right. However we will probably never reach a full comprehension of one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking phenomena in human culture if it is not properly contextualized. Hence we invite contributions in the special field of freemasonry as much as in the wider field of fraternalism. As freemasonry and related organizations attracted intellectuals it does not surprise that many of them had a deep interest in researching its history, origin and symbolism. In the first phase members of these organizations produced investigations and surveys on these topics, leading in the 19th century to the establishment of internal research organizations such as the lodge of research Quatuor Coronati in London. But it was a century later freemasonry eventually became an academic subject. It is thanks to the groundbreaking contributions by scholars during the last decades of the 20th century that Academia became aware of a long-neglected topic. Since then, academic chairs and centers devoted to freemasonry have been established and a growing number of researchers in various fields -- ranging from 18th century scholars to religious and art historians -- devote themselves to the fascinating world of fraternal organizations. They apply various methods and theories: analyze the roll of gender, music or initiation rituals, the implications for the formation of national identity in different parts of the world, the colonial history or the networks and membership structures of these organizations, to mention just a few of the approaches. The journal is intended to create a bridge between different traditions of scholarship and hence we welcome contributions in French as well as English.

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