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The role of Protestantism in the creation of Fraternaties

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posted on Aug, 16 2004 @ 01:54 PM
As far as operative (bricklaying) masons "dying on the vine" because of the end of the cathedral era, nothing could be further from the truth.

The renaisance brought a rennaisance in building, as well. I would argue that there was a great deal MORE building going on; just more secular work.

The forces that brought about the Reformation were complex, and the seeds were actually planted in the 14th century.

Groups like the Beguines sought their own spirituality, independent of church heirarchy, and wound up being brutally repressed. This left a powerful image in the public mind.

The british Isles, in part due to their isolation, had always been a hotbed of religious innovations. Groups like the Lollards and leaders like Tynndale tried to translate the Bible into the language of the people, despite the ban from the church.

The philosophy of Thomas Aquinas ultimately contributed to the Reformation, even though he is a catholic saint. The scholastics' interest in pagan Greece and Rome, as well as their inquiries into the text of the vulgate, would ultimately be fuel to the fire of the reformation. The university of Paris, where Aquinas taught, was a leader in the philosophic movement that led to the Reformation, without being "masonic" in the least.

IF the masons flourished during the reformation, so did the Dominicans and Jesuits.

Ultimately, the Reformation happened in 1515 instead of 1315 because by 1500 the German church had been so alienated from Rome that princes were eager for a reason to re-establish the national churches of the Carolingian period.

The reformation has less to do with freemasonry than it does with Frederick Barbarossa's (and the Holy Roman Empire's) humiliation at the hands of the Pope. The split between The "Holy Roman Empire" and the Lombards/Vatican sewed the political seeds for Reformation.

posted on Aug, 16 2004 @ 02:09 PM

Originally posted by RANT
but I believe 100% Freemasony is what it is today as a result of Protestantism forcing it to change and grow away from the Catholic Church for it's own survival.

I'd agree with you up to a point.
Obviously, because of the sheer weight of numbers of Protestant Freemasons, there had to be some sort of an influence (however minor). But Freemasonry was not restricted to Protestantism or any other religion.
The Reformation took place in 1515 and this was well before the 1600 date which is regarded by some as the time around which Freemasonry crossed the border from Catholic Scotland into Protestant England. James I (VI) was probably himself initiated into a Scottish Lodge in a predominately Catholic climate. Freemasonry has never been regarded as anti-Catholic by it's own members, be they Protestant, Catholic or of any other denomination. The Church, on the other hand, does have it's own view.

Freemasonry had at least 100 years forging it's identity under Catholic rule. It's highly doubtful as to wether it would have changed so drastically once it migrated to England. Especially when you remember that England itself was almost a Catholic nation until well into the 17th century and Protestantism was only really the main faith after the Civil War.
Sure things have changed since - but this would have been natural adaptation to a changing political/socialogical climate and would have taken many, many years. But I don't see the cataclysmic change that some claim the Reformation would have bought to the Order.

posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 09:24 AM
Need to take time to read all the posts.

Apreaciate it guys and gals!

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