Getting the Third Degree: Fraternalism, Freemasonry and History

Editors: Guillermo De Los Reyes and Paul Rich

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Possibly the most international and diverse scholarly conference on fraternalism and freemasonry is the one held in Paris in the spring every two years at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and hosted by Westphalia Press and the Policy Studies Organization. Scholars come from around the world, and the news they bring of discoveries is extraordinary. Prior to the conference itself there is a two day workshop on original documents, which meets at Musee de la Franc-Maconnerie. With growing debate over sustaining democracy in the face of alleged declining social capital, thanks to the time draining demands of social media and the epidemic of “couch potatoes,” the conferences have taken on great importance. As this engaging collection demonstrates, the doors being opened on the subject range from art history to political science to anthropology, as well as gender studies, sociology and more. The organizations discussed may insist on secrecy, but the research into them belies that. The editor, Dr. Guillermo De Los Reyes of the University of Houston, is president of the conference and no stranger to the field, having published many studies on fraternalism.