Freemasonry: A Very Short  Introduction [#531]
Freemasonry: A Very Short  Introduction [#531]

フリーメイソンと聞いて何を思い浮かべますか? 陰謀などと関連づけ、疑いの目を向けられることも少なくないようですが自由や人道などを基本理念とする友愛結社です。本書では、300年にわたる歴史や、組織、慣習やシンボルなどに触れながら、その特徴を解き明かします。また、国際的な視野に加え、あまり語られることのない女性の参加などにも言及します。

  • Introduces freemasonry, covering its three hundred year history and its position in our world today
  • Discusses the organization, secrecy, rituals and symbols of freemasonry
  • Unpacks the most common conspiracy myths and fictions surrounding freemasonry, and their history
  • Explains the most important concepts and lines of ideas that have shaped freemasonry and its distinct features
  • Sheds light on the participation of women in freemasonry

Freemasonry is one of the oldest and most widespread voluntary organisations in the world. Over the course of three centuries men (and women) have organized themselves socially and voluntarily under its name. With a strong sense of liberation, moral enlightenment, cosmopolitan openness and forward-looking philanthropy, freemasonry has attracted some of the sharpest minds in history and has created a strong platform for nascent civil societies across the globe. With the secrecy of internally communicated knowledge, the clandestine character of organization, and the enactment of rituals and the elaborate use of symbols, freemasonry has also opened up feelings of distrust, as well as allegations of secretiveness and conspiracy. 

This Very Short Introduction introduces the inner activities of freemasonry, and the rituals, symbols and practices. Looking at the development of the organizational structure of masonry from the local to the global level, Andreas Önnerfors considers perceptions of freemasonry from the outside world, and navigates through the prevalent fictions and conspiracy theories. He also discusses how freemasonry has from its outset struggled with issues of exclusion based upon gender, race and religion, despite promoting tolerant openness and inclusion. Finally Önnerfors shines a light on the rarely discussed but highly compelling history of female agency in masonic and para-masonic orders. 


Three centuries of Freemasonry
Historical legacies
Enlightenment foundations
From darkness to light
Organizational culture
Brotherhood challenged
Perceptions, prejudices and persecutions
Further Reading


Andreas Onnerfors is Associate Professor of the History of Sciences and Ideas at the University of Gothenburg. Prior to that he was Director of the Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism at The University of Sheffield from 2007-2010. There, he published three academic volumes and launched the first academic journal in the area, the Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism. He is a leading expert in freemasonry and has played a key part in the development of the research area during the last fifteen years. He has written several articles in peer reviewed journals and a chapters in edited books including a chapter on Illuminism in The Occult World (by Christopher Partridge ed, Routledge, 2015).

"Well-written, interesting, and informative." - Jorge Luis Romeu, REHMLAC+. Revista de Historia de la Masonería

"An engrossing, lucid and authoritative interpretation of a social and cultural phenomenon which has been a source of widespread fascination for over 300 years. International in scope and packed with compelling vignettes, this book clearly and engagingly explains every aspect of freemasonry, including its origins, secret rituals, womens freemasonry and anti-masonic conspiracy theories." - Andrew Prescott, University of Glasgow

"Freemasonry has occupied a liminal place in modern historiography. Often approached by conspiracy theorists or true believers, it has finally been rescued by a new generation of scholars. This book offers the latest scholarship and a clear understanding of the historical significance of freemasonry as well as a careful treatment of its guild origins." - Margaret C. Jacob


ISBN : 9780198796275

Andreas Onnerfors
152 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Freemasonry: A Very Short  Introduction [#531]

Freemasonry: A Very Short Introduction [#531]

Freemasonry: A Very Short  Introduction [#531]