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Brotherly LoveFreemasonry and Male Friendship in Enlightenment France$
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Kenneth Loiselle

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452437

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452437.001.0001

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The Masonic Utopia of Friendship

The Masonic Utopia of Friendship

(p.18) Chapter 1 The Masonic Utopia of Friendship
Brotherly Love

Kenneth Loiselle

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how Freemasonry grew during the 1730s and 1740s and situates this development within France's larger associational world. After tracing the origins of Freemasonry in France, it considers how Masons envisioned and ordered lodge life in the first half of the eighteenth century. It then describes how Freemasonry's participants outlined the principles of order and collective identity of their organization and how they understood their relationship to other modes of sociability and to French society at large. It also analyzes the thought of Andrew-Michael Ramsay, one of the founding fathers of Freemasonry in France, to show how brethren optimistically anchored masonic life in male friendship while recognizing the problematic nature of friendship owing to the assumed nature of the self. The chapter concludes by elaborating on friendship in relation to the concern over the presence of self-love and the power of the passions over reason.

Keywords:   male friendship, Freemasonry, France, sociability, Andrew-Michael Ramsay, self-love, passions, reason

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