Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, Vol 1, No 2 (2010)

Between universal values and national ties: Western European Freemasonries face the challenge of “Europe”, c. 1850–1930

Joachim Berger
Issued Date: 30 Dec 2010


How did (Western) European freemasonries on a transnational level came to terms with the idea of a closer union of the European peoples? Concepts of “Europe” and “Europeanness” were the background music of the formation of masonic pan-European networks, building on transnational encounters either by individual freemasons (in the Ligue internationale de francs-maçons or at the international masonic manifestations for peace) or by Grand Lodge representatives (at “universal” congresses or via the Bureau international de relations maçonniques and the Association maçonnique internationale). Like all masonic relations, these transnational movements suffered from schisms on religious obligations and political commitments of the lodges. Generally, masonic discourse on a transnational level was characterized by a tension between geographically and politically confined ideas of “Europe” on the one hand and the general ideal of humanitarianism and universal brotherhood on the other.

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DOI: 10.1558/jrff.v1i2.203


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