Information regarding previous conferences will remain posted here for reference and historical purposes
International Conference on the History of Freemasonry (ICHF)
It is confirmed that the International Conference will take place 25th - 27th May 2007 in Freemasons' Hall, Edinburgh. This is one of the most significant events to take place regarding the study of Freemasonry as a social and cultural phenomenon. Proposals for papers to be presentened at the conference have been received from all over the world. The proposals will be submitted to an academic committee who will assess the quality of the proposals and select those to be given at the conference. The selection of papers is done under the 'blind peer review' process as the proposals are annoymous with no identification details.
A second announcement will be issued in the next few weeks containing details of how to book a place, accomodation and associated social activities. Meantime you might like to visit the conference web site at: www.ichfonline.org
Canonbury Masonic Research Centre
The Canonbury Masonic Research Centre has been operating for eight years. Primarily an educational body it offers monthly lectures on a wide range of esoteric subjects including all aspects of Freemasonry. An annual conference is held in November of each year. Each conference is themed and that organised for this year is: 'Gnostic Movements and Secret Traditions.' For more information go to CMRC's web site by clicking here or on the previous link.
SYMBOLISM IN 18th CENTURY GARDENSThe Influence of Intellectual and Esoteric Currents, such as Freemasonry
28-29 September 2006, Schloss Schwetzingen, Germany.
During the 18th century, freemasonry provided a social network for men of different walks of life, including many aristocrats, intellectuals, artists and architects. Membership of a masonic order was socially accepted at the time and it was even fashionable to make one's membership subtly known to others, for instance through the use of domestic objects with symbolic decorations. Also the decoration of houses could be used in this respect.
In the same time period, garden design and landscape art incorporated classical, mythological and religious symbolism, and gardens became an expression of the status, personality and learning of their owners. It was not uncommon for a garden design to include 'hidden' symbolism, for the path through a garden to reflect a journey of initiation, or for architectural follies to be built in the shape of masonic temples. This symbolism was purposefully 'hidden', meant to be discovered by the initiated or to enlighten the visitor with new insights. Today, we are no longer familiar with common 18th century iconography and unable to read the visual clues to the meaning of such gardens.
Art historical approaches and heritage preservation policies are traditionally based on Christian iconography, and have largely overlooked the importance of masonic and esoteric symbolism to art, architecture and garden design. Recent academic studies, however, have shown the importance of masonic heritage to our cultural collective heritage and brought the hidden symbolism in historical gardens to the centre of attention.
This conference aims to provide an introduction into the masonic and esoteric symbolism in 18th century garden architecture, provide an overview of recent academic research into the subject, and raise awareness of the importance of preserving the remaining sites as a part of our cultural heritage.
The conference takes place at the summer residence of 'Kurfürst' Carl Theodor in Schwetzingen, the location of one of the oldest, most intricate and best preserved masonic gardens in the world.
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