Call for Papers: 4th European Conference on Masonic Studies (ECMS)

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Manchester 12th - 14th September 2014: ‘Alle Menschen werden Brueder?’ Freemasonry and the European Community in Stress, 1780-1830

Deadline: 31 October 2013

The 4th European Conference on Masonic Studies (ECMS), a cooperation of research lodges in Europe will take place in Manchester from 12th to 14th September 2014. Earlier ECMS conferences took place in Vienna (2008), Perugia (2010, and Bayreuth (2012). The ECMS conferences are supported by several European Grand Lodges and research lodges, but they are completely independent from any masonic organisation and are open for all researchers, whether they are freemasons or not.

The focus of the Manchester conference addresses the crucial period of transition throughout Europe resulting from the French Revolution, the expansion and fall of the Napoleonic empire, war inflation and the beginnings of industrialisation. It has been termed the ‘sattelzeit’, the saddle-period (Reinhart Koselleck). In many places it witnessed the change from an ‘ancien régime’ to that of the nation-state, from a society of ‘estates’ to a class structure, and to a fresh political consciousness. It saw a re-definition of the relation of church and state, with often a certain loss of control of public life hitherto exercised by the Church. Hence cultural life experienced fundamental changes.

And of course the international state system was reshaped several times. The phrase ‘the European community in stress’ emphasises the accelerated transformations of European societies and of their relationships one to another. In this period freemasonry changed as well: its social structure, its role and impact in the community, its relation to religion, together with its rituals—all underwent fundamental revisions. Due to an increasingly nationalist character, international masonic networks— the transnational relations of Grand Lodges and lodges – on the one hand became more limited, while on the other hand freemasonry has been claimed to be an important element in the emergent globalisation and colonisation of the world by the major European powers, namely the British and the French.

Papers dealing with the changes reflected by freemasonry during this period 1780-1830 are warmly invited. In particular, papers addressing international aspects, or comparing the developments in different parts of Europe, will be especially welcomed. Papers should be in English. The conference will strictly adhere to academic standards. Thus double peer-review will be applied anonymously to all proposals presented to the scientific committee of the conference, the members of which will include Martin Papenheim (Germany), Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire (France), Andreas Oennerfors (Sweden), Jeffrey Tyssens (Belgium) and Jan Snoek (Netherlands).

Proposals in English should be no longer than about 500 words and sent as a DOC-file to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 31 October 2013.

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