Implicit Religion, Vol 15, No 3 (2012)

Freemasonry Through the Eyes of Anglican Clergy: Insights from Implicit Religion?

Tania Ap Siôn, Caroline Windsor
Issued Date: 1 Oct 2012


The nature of the relationship between the Christian Churches and Freemasonry has been controversial in England since the latter emerged in an organized form with the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Unlike some other Christian Churches, the Church of England has never consistently pronounced against Freemasonry, although a range of views are evident as illustrated by the General Synod Debate in 1987. In part the debate concerns the extent to which Freemasonry itself functions as an alternative religion. The present study approaches Freemasonry from the perspective of 518 Archdeacons, Area Deans and Rural Deans in the Church of England, and explores the connection between their conceptions of Freemasonry and Ninian Smart’s (1989, 1996) seven recognizable components of religion articulated as: the ritual or practical dimension, the doctrinal or philosophical dimension, the mythic or narrative dimension, the experiential or emotional dimension, the ethical or legal dimension, the organizational or social dimension, and the material or artistic dimension. The significance of the results is then discussed with regard to implicit religion and perceived relationships between Freemasonry and the Church of England.

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DOI: 10.1558/imre.v15i3.339


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