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That Religion in Which All Men AgreeFreemasonry in American Culture$
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David G. Hackett

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281677

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281677.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Colonial Freemasonry and Polite Society, 1733–1776

Colonial Freemasonry and Polite Society, 1733–1776

(p.19) 1 Colonial Freemasonry and Polite Society, 1733–1776
That Religion in Which All Men Agree

David G. Hackett

University of California Press

The first chapter of part 1 begins with the grand arrival of Freemasonry in coastal cities as part of the anglicization of colonial life. The origins and multiple meanings of the society prior to its arrival are reviewed before considering the influence of Masonic ideals and practices within the polite societies of the colonial elite. Crossing political, ethnic, and religious boundaries, the fraternity’s social ideals and initiatory practices provided the basis for common ground among elite European American men. Moreover, the brotherhood contributed to the rational religious discourse of the nascent public sphere. At the same time, drawing from Christian and non-Christian sources, the Masonic worldview provided resources for the larger religious world inhabited by many eighteenth-century Americans.

Keywords:   Freemasonry, practices, European American, men, rational, polite, public sphere, Christian

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