Freemasonry: gnostic images
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Freemasonry: gnostic images book
This chapter recognizes that a "Gnostic-associated" movement, namely Freemasonry, with its many branches but common enough features, became a worldwide movement in modern times. Freemasonry's popularity in Protestant countries followed its association with scientific progress and liberal thought and its presumed opposition to western Catholicism. Masonry grew strongly in Protestant-dominated, anti-Catholic contexts in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and in such a country as France where Catholicism was weakened by Protestant and deistic tendencies. The earliest distinctive mysteries of modern Freemasonry connected architectural knowledge and the Bible. If Freemasonry has often been introduced to outsiders simply as "a way of making men better," the evidence remains that some of its renowned exponents, whether legitimately or not, have approached and unveiled it for its loyalists as "a way of Gnosis." Freemasonry has the structure of Gnosis from the start for being initiatic, and for being laden with hieroglyphic signals in lodge paraphernalia that entice "spiritual curiosity".