Title page for ETD etd-11102004-071611


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Carmichael, Thomas A
URN etd-11102004-071611
Document Title A Christian meeting with other world religions through a dialogue within freemasonry
Degree M A (Theology)
Department Church History and Church Polity
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Dr G A Duncan Committee Chair
Keywords
  • no keywords available
Date 2003-09-21
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Although there are many myths and stories about Freemasonry it is evident that many of the individuals involved have their roots in Protestant Christianity. In a South African context, the Freemasons Lodges where established by colonial settlers in the nineteenth century. Freemasonry was recognised as an organisation of individuals who cared for the community and in doing so encouraged all groups to be involved in local issues and personal development. According to Anderson (1738) Freemasonry is the central meeting place for all humanity. It is a place for personal understanding and development, with a deep sense of love for The Divine Creator. It is not the intention of Freemasonry to synchronies all sacred writings as this would only be an attempt to eradicate the uniqueness of each individual's faith and deeply held beliefs. Freemasonry encourages diversity, but demands the love and compassion, which, from a Christian perspective is expressed by and through Jesus Christ. Freemasonry in the eighteenth century was clearly a Christian organisation; many of the symbols and prayers were based on Christian beliefs regarding God, who the Freemasons name The Great Architect of the Universe. In the last century this has developed into an all-embracing organisation, which includes all people from all religious and ethnic backgrounds, the only requirement being belief in a Supreme Being. There are many leading Religious and Political leaders who have been associated with Freemasonry and have been leading lights in the development of social systems within their communities. It is the systems within Freemasonry that can help a developing, changing nation such as South Africa, offering a place where all people of divers backgrounds can come and have the freedom to develop within a multi-cultural society. The so-called lost secrets within Freemasonry are based on the care and development of all individuals, who share a common understanding of the needs of humanity. This is not based on an individual's ethnic or religious background, but rather on the willingness of individuals to learn form each other. The systems within Freemasonry offer such a platform for development and with willingness from those within Freemasonry could offer a place of healing and growth.
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