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FREEMASONRY AND RUDOLF STEINER
An Introduction to the Masonic Imagination
16 November 2020;
340pp (8pp colour plates);
23.5 x 15.5 cm;
Today some six million Freemasons around the world continue to perform their rituals regularly – an enormous legacy of spiritual endeavour, kept largely in secret. In Britain alone there are over 7,000 Lodges, with a quarter of a million members. What is this wealth, this appeal, and how did the philosopher and spiritual scientist Rudolf Steiner reinterpret or reconstruct Freemasonry’s time-worn legacy?
Unless one is a Freemason, the masonic world, with its arcane conventions and language, remains largely unknown: an obscurity that is almost impossible to fathom. Yet understanding its traditions and style are invaluable when approaching Goethe, Mozart, Herder, Lessing and Novalis – as well as Rudolf Steiner. Steiner himself renewed the ‘Royal Art’ of Freemasonry from 1906 to 1914 through his ritual work known as Mystica Æterna.
When Steiner invigorated education, medicine, the social order and religion, he fully intended that committed and professional individuals should assume responsibility for the new initiatives. But this was not the case with the Masonic Order he founded, whose leadership he took upon himself. Even the celebration of his passing in 1925, led by Marie Steiner, was entirely Masonic in character.
In the context of continuing resistance and misrepresentation, N.V.P. Franklin uncovers the living heart of Freemasonry and reveals why it was – and still is – immensely relevant to anthroposophy. With profound research into its older rituals and teachings, this detailed and conscientious study is a unique contribution to comprehending freemasonry and anthroposophy – both historically and in the present day.
N.V.P. FRANKLIN is a retired university lecturer now living in South Devon. His first study concerned Jacob Boehme and William Blake’s The Four Zoas (1979) whilst his second addressed Rudolf Steiner’s Christology and Freemasonry (1989). He has also published on Boehme’s understanding of speech sounds, and has taught in the Open University and the University of California. Since 2014 his main task has been helping to edit the Complete Works of Hermann Beckh in English translation. He is neither a member of the Anthroposophical Society nor a Freemason.