"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Fall 2019 Issue of 'Ritual, Secrecy and Civil Society'



The Fall 2019 journal Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society has just been released. It is published by the Policy Studies Organization (PSO), which supports research into associations, civility, and the role of non-governmental organizations within democracy.

I've been meaning to spotlight these fascinating collections of new Masonic education and scholarship for quite some time because few Masons seem to be aware of them as a resource. These journals deserve a much wider audience than they are getting.


The PSO is the longstanding brainchild of Brother Paul Rich, and that organization has a very broad range of topics in which it fosters research and discussion. Of greatest interest to Masons, the PSO sponsors an international academic conference about Freemasonry and fraternalism every year, alternating between the U.S. and France. 

Paul is also the proprietor of Westphalia Press, which offers a large selection of unique Masonic books you won't encounter anywhere else. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, Paul is quite probably one of the most dedicated supporters and active participants in all types of fraternalism all over the world you will ever encounter – on top of his other amazing achievements over the years.

The most recent journal Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society Vol. 7/Fall 2019 is unusual this time because it features just two papers. The first, The Role of Freemasonry in Early Washington by Paul Rich, is an examination of the authentic part that Freemasonry played in the the formation of Washington, D.C., as opposed to the hoary claims of the fabulists who see 'Masonic' zodiacs and spookiness in every surveyor's mark and cornice. It was a subject I examined in my own book, Solomon's Builders back in 2006, and Paul brings fresh insights into the honest Masonic history within the District.

The second paper is a massive new work by 2018's Blue Friar, Josef Wäges: De Grasse Tilly and the Early Supreme Council: 1786-1802. Brother Wäges has spent several years translating and examining foreign language Masonic texts. This latest paper delves into the records of the French-speaking Lodge de Candeur in Charleston, South Carolina in the late 1700s, and the development of what became the Order of the Royal Secret and ultimately, the Scottish Rite. If you ever wondered how this very different branch of Freemasonry—named after Scotland, percolated in France, carried across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, and finally established in South Carolina of all places – this paper fills in a very large piece of the puzzle.


The journal of Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society is offered free online HERE, and back issues are also available. It is usually published twice a year, and a printed version and Kindle are also available through Amazon. The papers generally come from the PSO's conferences in the U.S. or France, and there's usually a wide variety of topics you've likely never encountered before. They are well worth exploring.


3 comments:

  1. Chris is too kind. Pierre Mollier, Daniel Gutierrez-Sandoval and Guillermo De los Reyes are a major part of the journal. The Library of Freemasonry at
    https://westphaliapress.org/freemasonry-and-ritual-library/
    makes available at very modest cost some titles which previously have been unobtainable or pricey. Because of their use of university bookshops and foreign outlets they have been lucky in getting distribution. We certainly welcome articles and books from scholar brethren with the urge to write.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many thanks for the link Brother Hodapp, and the opportunity to publish my paper Brother Rich.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the link Brother Hodapp, and the opportunity to publish the paper Brother Rich.

    ReplyDelete

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