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Masonic Temples: Freemasonry, Ritual Architecture, and Masculine Archetypes Hardcover – August 15, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1572334960 ISBN-10: 1572334967

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press (August 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572334967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572334960
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

In Masonic Temples, William D. Moore introduces readers to the structures American Freemasons erected over the sixty-year period from 1870 to 1930, when these temples became a ubiquitous feature of the American landscape. As representations of King Solomon’s temple in ancient Jerusalem erected in almost every American town and city, Masonic temples provided specially designed spaces for the enactment of this influential fraternity’s secret rituals. Using New York State as a case study, Moore not only analyzes the design and construction of Masonic structures and provides their historical context, but he also links the temples to American concepts of masculinity during this period of profound economic and social transformation. By examining edifices previously overlooked by architectural and social historians, Moore decodes the design and social function of Masonic architecture and offers compelling new insights into the construction of American masculinity. Four distinct sets of Masonic ritual spaces—the Masonic lodge room, the armory and drill room of the Knights Templar, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, and the Shriners’ mosque – form the central focus of this volume. Moore argues that these spaces and their accompanying ceremonies communicated four alternative masculine archetypes to American Freemasons—the heroic artisan, the holy warrior, the adept or wise man, and the frivolous jester or fool. Although not a Freemason, Moore draws from his experience as director of the Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library in New York City, where heutilized sources previously inaccessible to scholars. His work should prove valuable to readers with interests in vernacular architecture, material culture, American studies, architectural and social history, Freemasonry, and voluntary associations.

About the Author

William D. Moore is assistant professor of history and director of the public history program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His work has appeared in CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship, Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, and Winterthur Portfolio, among other publications.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Tabbert on October 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Prof. Moore has for many years been one of the best academic scholars of American Freemasonry. His reseach is now at long last in published form. I can not recommend this book high enough. He now offically joins such other great academic scholars as Bullock, Jacob, and Clawson. This is what Masonic history ought to be and how it should be written.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on January 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Masonic temples with external and internal features to evoke King Solomon's temple in ancient Jerusalem built throughout New York state from 1870 to 1930 were intended to "anchor [Freemasons] within a cognitive framework as they faced the existential crisis of being American men" in this period of profound, challenging, and often perplexing cultural change. New York state serves as an instructive example of the architecture of Masonic temples throughout the United States and the types of rituals and other activities they were built for because of this state's diversity embracing urban, suburban, and rural areas. The author is also familiar with New York Freemasonry from his one-time position as director of the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library in New York City, though he is not himself a Mason. This Masonic Library also contains an incomparable amount of Masonic literature for study. The main chambers of a Masonic lodge are built and furnished to define--and thus to anchor--different facets of masculinity as these are recognized by the different stages of Freemasonry's initiations and rituals. The four principle chambers known as the Masonic lodge room, armory and drill room of the Knights Templar, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, and the Shriners' mosque correspond respectively to the masculine facets of the heroic artisan, the holy warrior, the wise man, and the jester. Moore moves back and forth from physical aspects of these rooms, the relationship of these aspects to the different facets of masculinity, and how Masonic rituals, lore, values, and practices work to define these aspects and keep them in proper balance in the formation of the ideal Freemason.
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Format: Hardcover
MASONIC TEMPLES provides an excellent introduction to the structures American Freemasons erected over the sixty-year period from 1870 to 1930, analyzing their design, construction, and history and considering the surrounding milieu of Masonic sects and American culture of the times. This is a pivotal title recommended for any collection which already holds some more general Masonic titles: it offer analysis of four sets of Masonic ritual spaces and provides fine details on Masonic beliefs, rituals and architecture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter P. Fuchs on May 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is such a good book! What a tremendously complicated thing to well -situate, so to speak, the golden age of the Masonic building boom in terms that lead the reader to further insight and seriousness about Masonry itself. Instead of into platitudes, or their opposite. I notice that Mark Tabbert mentions Clawson's book in his review here, I assume referring to her Constructing Brotherhood, in praising this one. Actually, I think comparing them is very useful for pointing out the special character of Moore's . Clawson's is a good book in some ways, but its rather blunt and dated-sounding social analysis (almost Marxist in tone) , is nothing like the the purposeful subtlety of this one. What is wonderful about this one is that he conveys Masonic philosophy without rigid academic reflexes, but with academic rigor. And I can vouch for that particularly because this book was useful to me fairly recently in writing an academic paper on Masonry on a topic not specific to Temples per se. Thus, a very useful book, all the way around.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By So. Calif book reader on January 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I had been very anxious to read this and finally got a hold of it through the library (I just have TOO many books), and read this fairly quickly as I found it to be very, very interesting.

Lots of nice photos, very good recap of Blue Lodge Masonry and other concordant bodies, also their history and how they related to the membership at the particular time of the organizations heydays.

I got a better perspective of how Masonry related to America at that period of time and see where it needs to go today to remain functional and with purpose in our day and age. I think it will.
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