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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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Friendship in the Age of Sensibility

Friendship in the Age of Sensibility

(p.156) Chapter 5 Friendship in the Age of Sensibility
Brotherly Love

Kenneth Loiselle

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how male friendship persisted as a key component of masonic identity in the twilight of the Old Regime. One way to gauge the importance of friendship is by quantifying the terms ami and amitié within the semantic field of lodge titles, known as titres distinctifs. Throughout the century, French lodges adopted a specific title for their assembly. By analyzing hundreds of lodge speeches that were delivered on festive occasions, this chapter shows that the prerevolutionary decades underwent a qualitative shift in masonic thinking about friendship. It looks at the emergence of a new culture of sentimentalized friendship within Freemasonry—a change that reflected the wider cultural current known as “sensibility” that swept the entire Western world during the second half of the eighteenth century. The chapter concludes by discussing friendship and disputes in lodges during the period 1762–1789.

Keywords:   male friendship, lodge titles, speeches, sensibility, disputes, Freemasonry

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