Dispelling myth and reevaluating European and American history, The Temple and the Lodge is an illuminating investigation into the evolution of Freemasonry. Coauthors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh recount the events that led to the strange and sudden disappearance of the Knights Templar in the fourteenth century and their reappearance in the court of excommunicate Scottish king Robert the Bruce. Theorizing, and documenting, the survival of Templar traditions through the birth of the Masonic lodge, the authors chart the history of Freemasonry through its medieval roots and into the modern era. They demonstrate the order's contribution to the fostering of tolerance, progressive values, and cohesion in English society, which helped to preempt a French-style revolution in England. In addition, they show how Freemasonry contributed to the formation of the United States as an embodiment of the ideal "Masonic Republic."
George Washington, Ben Franklin and Edmund Randolph--all framers of the Constitution--were active Freemasons, as was John Marshall, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In this riveting and careful study, Baigent and Leigh (coauthors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail ) suggest that Freemasonic lodges served America's Founding Fathers as a working model for our federal system. Freemasonry's doctrine of universal brotherhood and tolerance, they assert, had a liberalizing influence in England and France, in particular on Voltaire, Hume, Rousseau, Montesquieu as well as their disciples in what was to become the United States. Early, largely conjectural chapters link Freemasonry to remnants of the Knights Templar, a medieval society of European warrior-monks, some of whose members appear to have found refuge in Scotland. This jigsaw's pieces include Grail romances; the Scots Guard, personal bodyguard to the French king; Scottish freedom-fighter Robert Bruce; Rosicrucians; and the British Royal Society. Photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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April 21, 2011
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