The epilogue briefly recounts how, during the early twentieth century, Freemasonry adopted the characteristics of a modern service club. New emphases on life insurance and recreation challenged an older embrace of honor and noble purpose. New interests in practical community involvement undercut the pursuit of deep and personal moral truths through ritual drama. Today the fraternity, like many American civic associations, is in decline. Along with voluntary organizations throughout society, membership has plummeted. For much of American history, however, the Masonic lodge helped to shape a diverse and expanding American religious culture.
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