Sunday, February 19, 2012

Conference: The Source of Masonic Symbols: The Western Esoteric Tradition.

Aux sources des symboles maçonniques : la tradition ésotérique occidentale

A Conference to be delivered by Jan Snoek this Tuesday, February 28 as part of Gremme will be devoted to exploring the sources of Masonic symbols, shedding new light on specific elements of the symbolic construction of and naming of different degrees.

Conference Summary: The study of "Western esotericism" as a scientific discipline, including astrology, Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, alchemy, Kabbalah, hermeticism, the cult of Astrea, Rosicrucianism, or the occult in the nineteenth century. Freemasonry is also included. Although all these currents are distinct, their founders were still scholars familiar with the literature produced by earlier movements. Thus, we find many traces in Freemasonry. In this lecture, Professor. Snoek will give examples of symbols and methods characteristic of Freemasonry, whose sources are probably to be found in the movements discussed above as the perfection of oneself (Neoplatonism), the cubic stone (alchemy), the how to spell sacred words (Christian Cabala), or the revival of the golden age under the reign of Astraea (Astraea worship).

Dr. Jan Snoek, Ph.D. (1987) in the Sciences of Religions, University of Leiden (The Netherlands), is attached to the Institute for the Sciences of Religions at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), and published widely about the development of masonic rituals. With Jens Kreinath and Michael Stausberg he published Theorizing Rituals (two volumes), Brill 2006 & 2007, and with Alexandra Heidle Women’s Agency and Rituals in Mixed and Female Masonic Orders, Brill 2008.

When: Tuesday, February 28 at 18h
Where: at CIERL, 17 av. F. Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels
Admission: Free admission, no reservations
Information: Anna Maria Vileno

Jan Snoek studied Religious Studies at Leiden (Netherlands). After his PhD he was devoted to the history and development of Masonic rituals. It is in this context that he published some eighty articles. In 1996, the ULB conferred on Prof. Snoek The Chair of Théodore Verhaegen. Since 2000 he is professor at the Institute of Religious Sciences at the University of Heidelberg (Germany). In 2009 he was appointed Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter. Recently, he published: Einführung in die Westliche Esoterik, für Freimaurer (Introduction to Western Esotericism, for Freemasons), Zürich 2001. Soon appear on his book "Rite of Adoption" (in English by Brill in January 2012 and French in Dervy in September 2012).

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