Masonic Temples: Freemasonry, Ritual Architecture, and Masculine Archetypes

Masonic Temples: Freemasonry, Ritual Architecture, and Masculine Archetypes

by William D. Moore
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This is an original, important work, in which Will Moore addresses significant and overlooked
social settings in the built environment history of American towns and cities. Moore elegantly
unlocks the architecture and material culture of Masonic groups.”
—Paul Groth, author of Living Downtown: The History of Residential Hotels in the United States

“In showing how the Masons were part of the larger scope of nineteenth- and early-twentiethcentury
American social, cultural, and material history, Moore has enlarged our understanding
of who we are and why we do the things we do.”
—Jennifer A. Cousineau, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781572334960
Publisher:
University of Tennessee Press
Publication date:
08/15/2006
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet 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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