Brotherly Love: Freemasonry and Male Friendship in by Kenneth Loiselle

By Kenneth Loiselle

Friendship, an obtained dating based mostly on selection instead of beginning, lay on the center of Enlightenment preoccupations with sociability and the formation of the non-public sphere. In Brotherly Love, Kenneth Loiselle argues that Freemasonry is a perfect area within which to discover the altering nature of male friendship in Enlightenment France. Freemasonry was once the biggest and such a lot various voluntary association within the many years prior to the French Revolution. no less than fifty thousand Frenchmen joined inns, the memberships of which ranged around the social spectrum from expert artisans to the top ranks of the the Aristocracy. Loiselle argues that males have been interested in Freemasonry since it enabled them to domesticate enduring friendships that have been egalitarian and down to earth in emotion.

Drawing on ratings of files, together with inner most letters, rituals, the mins of resort conferences, and the speeches of many Freemasons, Loiselle finds the concept techniques of the visionaries who based this flow, the ways that its contributors maintained friendships either inside of and past the inn, and the likely paradoxical position girls occupied inside this friendship group. Masonic friendship persevered into the tumultuous innovative period, even though the innovative management suppressed many of the resorts by means of 1794. Loiselle not just examines where of friendship in eighteenth-century society and tradition but additionally contributes to the historical past of feelings and masculinity, and the fundamental debate over the connection among the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.

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Extra resources for Brotherly Love: Freemasonry and Male Friendship in Enlightenment France

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London, [1719] 1721), a3. 32 C H APTER 1 relationship between state and society and reinventing the codes of individual and collective social behavior. Like all early Enlightenment writings on politics, Ramsay’s Essai was composed in the shadow of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. 54 Hobbes instead found, or rather conjured up, a man who, in his natural state, was an apolitical, asocial entity, and whose sole desire was that of self-preservation. Individuals came together, forged political societies, and accepted the laws of an absolute sovereign not because of some innate desire to frequent one another, but rather to ensure their own physical and mental well-being.

9. ”56 Ramsay’s critique of Locke and Hobbes stemmed from the fact that he saw in both his predecessors the tendency to overemphasize self-love (amour-propre) as the driving force that brought individuals into society. “Those who have examined politics,” Ramsay informs his readers, “have wanted to establish two types of principles which are entirely contradictory to one another. ”57 Parting ways with both Hobbes and Locke, Ramsay believed that politics was not simply a matter of self-interest, although he did not deny that the individual must look after his immediate material needs.

49 Outsiders and detractors also understood that Freemasonry’s primary objective was to cultivate and develop male friendships between members. When the inquisitive wife of a Freemason published her supposed clandestine visit to an all-male meeting in 1744, she informed her reader that “she was 45. , 52. 46. Naudot’s songs are published in his Chansons notées de la très vénérable confrérie des Francs-maçons. Précédées de quelques pièces de poésie, convenable au sujet, et d’une marche (Paris, 1737).

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