Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe

By Margaret C. Jacob | Go to book overview

6
Speaking the Language of Enlightenment

We will never know precisely what it was like to live a life attentive to enlightened ideals. Some European men and a few women sought to express those ideals sociably, within the perimeters set by private fraternizing. Within those limits the masonic lodges were by far the most cosmopolitan, and internationally connected, enclaves of the century. To know them and how their idealism related to the Enlightenment, we must go by what masonic orators said lodges and brothers should be, as well as by what letters, meeting records, and diaries may have to tell us. Vast reconstructions have been attempted for the much more public thought of the famous philosophes, the supposed originators of the Enlightenment: Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and, in the American colonies, Franklin.

But they were the grand men of the Enlightenment, not the little men who so often admired them. Much has been made of the official academies, particularly in France, as the loci of the Enlightenment's followers. But as I make clear in the conclusion, the few thousand academicians familiar with the "the light" were also officially sponsored. In most European countries the lodges occupied a middle ground: a place where the occasional government official might be found, but one which was nevertheless officially suspect. In this chapter we will listen to the less famous, less official voices of the masonic brothers who addressed one another monthly, in various European countries and languages. I seek here to recapitulate and to generalize about masonic ideals as found throughout western Europe. In the process I do not want to render the Enlightenment into the property of the freemasons, but rather to show the brothers (and sisters) as its consumers, interpreters, and appliers.

In the next three chapters masonic idealism will be reconstructed in specific contexts, first within one Amsterdam lodge, and then within various French lodges. The records of the Amsterdam lodge (unlike almost any French lodge) are so

-143-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 304

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.