Freemasons For Dummies

Freemasons For Dummies

by Christopher Hodapp


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Take the mystery out of the Freemasons

Fascinated by Freemasons? Freemasons For Dummies is the internationally bestselling introduction to the Masons, the oldest and largest "secret society" in the world. This balanced, eye-opening guide demystifies Freemasonry, explaining everything from its elaborate rituals and cryptic rites, to its curious symbols and their meanings.

With new and improved content, including updated examples and references throughout, this new edition of Freemasons For Dummies provides the most straightforward, non-intimidating guide to the subject on the market.

  • Updated expert coverage of the basic beliefs and philosophy behind Freemasonry
  • Revised information on the history of the society, including updates concerning its founding, famous historical members, and pivotal events
  • New coverage devoted to the recent influx of younger membership
  • The latest and ongoing controversies and myths surrounding Freemasonry
  • The role of women in a Masonic organization, including opportunities for women to participate in Freemasonry
  • The effects cultural and political changes and worldwide events are having on the organization

If you're intrigued by the mystery that surrounds the Masons, get ready to learn the facts about this ancient order in Freemasons For Dummies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118412084
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/29/2013
Series: For Dummies Series
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 115,709
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Christopher Hodapp has been an active Freemason and board member in his home state of Indiana for many years and holds memberships in several national Masonic organizations. He has written numerous articles and has contributed to several documentaries about Masonry. He is editor of the Journal of the Masonic Society and has authored and co-authored several books on the topic including The Templar Code For Dummies and Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: What Is Freemasonry? 9

Chapter 1: Lodges, Aprons, and Funny Handshakes: Freemasonry 101 11

Chapter 2: From Cathedrals to Lodge Rooms: A History of the Freemasons 21

Chapter 3: The Philosophy of Freemasonry 55

Chapter 4: Politics, Religion, and Freemasons: They Don’t Mix 63

Part II: The Inner Workings of Freemasonry 89

Chapter 5: How the Freemasons Are Organized: Who Does What and Why 91

Chapter 6: The Ceremonies of Freemasons 115

Chapter 7: The Symbols of Freemasonry 129

Chapter 8: Myths and Misconceptions about Masons 151

Part III: When One Lodge Isn’t Enough: The Appendant Bodies 163

Chapter 9: Introducing the Appendant Bodies: Who’s Who, and Who Isn’t 165

Chapter 10: The York Rite 181

Chapter 11: The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite 203

Chapter 12: Shriners International 221

Chapter 13: The Extended Masonic Family 231

Part IV: Freemasonry Today and Tomorrow 249

Chapter 14: So Is It Still Relevant? 251

Chapter 15: Freemasons and the Future 259

Chapter 16: So You Want to Become a Freemason 267

Part V: The Part of Tens 279

Chapter 17: Ten Groups of Famous Masons 281

Chapter 18: Ten Amazing Conspiracies, Anti-Masons, and Hoaxes 289

Chapter 19: Ten Cool Masonic Places 301

Part VI: Appendixes 305

Appendix A: The Regius Manuscript 307

Appendix B: Anderson’s Constitutions 329

Appendix C: Finding a Lodge 335

Index 347

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"...a delight; no masonic prudery here, no academic dry ... simple readable style that encourages one to read on...great value..." (The Square, March 2006)

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Freemasons for Dummies 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After I was intitiated into my Blue Lodge and started working towards becoming a Master Mason, many of the brothers suggested this book would be a helpful resource. It has been a great help to understanding the lessons and ceremonies I've participated in. It has also been a great resource for me to explain the history of Freemasonry to my wife when she asks questions. The stories and explanations are written in a fun and easy to remember fashion.
jrsedivy More than 1 year ago
I found Freemasons for Dummies to be an excellent resource for both individuals familiar with Freemasonry and those who are not. The author passes along a great deal of knowledge in the book, while in keeping with a humorous tone which makes for an entertaining read. The only drawback I found is that the layout of the book is a bit dull, in keeping with the typical black and white ¿Dummies¿ book theme. Those interested in the subject should check out American Freemasonry by Mark Tabbert which is not meant to replace this book but rather serve as a companion - although that book sets the standard for the ideal mix of illustrative layout and text.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whether you are interested in joining a Masonic Lodge, or just want to get the skinny of what being a Freemason is all about, I think that this book is a great resource. I bought this book right after I petitioned to join my local lodge, and it really gave me a good heads up on what kind of group I was joining. The format of the book goes from very basic to pretty in-depth, and is written by a very experienced and thoughtful member.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good reference book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book shortly after I petitioned my local lodge for membership. This book helped me understand the structure of freemasonry without makeing me feel like I was 'cheating' my own initiation experience. The sections on freemason myths and conspiracy were also very entertaining to read!
Adoniram on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is about the best introduction available about Freemasonry for non-Masons and even for Freemasons who need a refresher about the history and rites of the Craft. Pick up a copy if you do not already have one.
KennethWDavis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The best introduction to Freemasonry.
APM More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for the Mason and non-Mason. Mainly, it clears up all the confusion with the controversies of the fraternity. APM
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John_SmithDR More than 1 year ago
I'm still reading this book but, I have learned quite a bit and find the Masons very interesting.