Rosicrucianism & Freemasonry (HISM155)
|Staff|| McIntosh - Lecturer|
|Duration of Module|
The module examines the eclectic origins of early Rosicrucianism (1605-1620) in Protestant heterodoxy, indicating hopes for a "second" Reformation based on medicine, mathematics and natural philosophy transcending denominational divisions. These millenarian and prophetic modes of discourse combined with spiritualist tendencies in a universalist vision. As the Scientific Revolution increasingly excluded religio-pansophic speculation, these irenic and symbolic impulses passed into the emergent middle-class networks of Freemasonry in Britain and Europe. Figures studied include Robert Fludd, Michael Maier, Jan Amos Comenius, Elias Ashmole, and Isaac Newton.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Relate gnostic anthropology to theistic and pansophic theological concerns. Appreciate the role of initiation in esoteric traditions. Understand Freemasonic symbolism and the historical and quasi-historical legends surrounding Freemasonry. Describe and evaluate the phenomenon and balance objective and subjective responses to it.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 2. Understand the theoretical and methodological issues relating to the understanding of spirituality, religious and mystical experience, and scientific knowledge. Deal with fragmentary, rhetorical and polemical material, and the problems of distinguishing fact from fiction. Interpret texts and grasp and evaluate ancient and contemporary scholarly debates. Argue a position in detail, both in oral presentation and in essays.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 3. Deal objectively with complex and often conflicting sources while making a critical assessment. Employ the latest forms of information retrieval (World Wide Web). Think autonomously and analytically. Construct and defend a sustained argument (both in written form and orally).
1 Rosicrucianism: the alchemico-apocalyptic context
2 The Fama Fraternitatis
3 The Rosicrucian Furore
4 Elias Ashmole and British Rosicrucianism
5 The origins of Freemasonry in England and Scotland
6 The persistent influence of Jacob Böhme
7 From Grand Lodge to the Continent: the spread of Freemasonry
8 Neo-Rosicrucianism and High Grade Freemasonry: a fecund marriage
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||150||Distance-learning supported by study-days at Exeter, introduced by short presentation by students or lecturer; one-to-one essay tutorial.|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Seminar presentations at Study Days.||unknown||All|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Eugenius Philalethes [Thomas Vaughan], The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of R:C: Commonly, of the Rosie Cross, Printed by J.M. for Giles Calvert, 1652. (reprinted in Yates, Frances, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment).
The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, transl. Joscelyn Godwin, Phanes Press: Grand Rapids MI, 1991
Andreae, Johann Valentin, Chymische Hochzeit Lazarus Zetzner, Strasbourg, 1616. English translation by Ezekiel Foxcroft (1690) reprinted in A Christian Rosenkreutz Anthology, compiled and edited by Paul M Allen, Rudolf Steiner Publications, Blauvelt, NY, 1960.
Yates, Frances, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, RKP, 1964.
Yates, Frances A., The Rosiscrucian Enlightenment, RKP, 1972, pp. 238-260.
Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas, ed. Paracelsus: Essential Readings, North Atlantic: Berkeley, Calif., 1999.
Gilly, Carlos, “The Theophrastia Sancta – Paracelsianism in conflict with the established churches”, (Paper available on Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica website). In de Pelikaan, Amsterdam, 1994.
McIntosh, Christopher, The Rosicrucians, third ed. Weiser, 1998
McIntosh, Christopher, The Rose Cross and the Age of Reason Brill, 1992
Churton, Tobias, The Golden Builders: Alchemists, Rosicrucians and the First Free Masons, Red Wheel-Weiser, New York, 2004.
Churton, Tobias, Gnostic Philosophy: From Ancient Persia to Modern Times, Inner Traditions, 2005
Churton, Tobias, Magus: The Invisible Life of Elias Ashmole, Signal, 2004
Williams, George.H., The Radical Reformation, Westminster, 1962
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Last revision date