First MA-program devoted to the History of Freemasonry and Fraternalism
University of Sheffield, UK and its Centre for Research into Freemasonry are offering the first ever MA-program in the History of Freemasonry and Fraternalism.
Since at least the middle ages, fraternal bodies ranging from guilds to friendly societies have provided a social framework for local, regional and national life. They have contributed to the establishment of networks crossing cultural and political borders in Europe and throughout the world and their members have been exposed to elaborate rituals of initiation. These associations share an emphasis on mutual aid and a general ideology of brother- and sisterhood. Freemasonry is one of the largest and best-documented of these organisations and its history is a primary focus of this programme.
Fraternal organisations have often influenced the nature and structure of civil society. Studying their history provides insight into the structures underpinning past societies, such as forms of networking and trans-national contact and also sheds light on major themes of social history such as gender, ethnicity, public space and the emergence of functional elites. Studying a wide range of fraternal organisations provides you with an awareness of the development over time of different values, systems and societies.
University of Sheffield has a strong tradition of academic research into freemasonry. Professor Douglas Knoop (1883-1948) contributed substantially to new scholarly approaches in the area and the Centre for Research into Freemasonry—the first Centre devoted to the academic study of freemasonry in the UK—is situated in new premises named in honour of Knoop. The MA in the History of Freemasonry and Fraternalism draws on the Centre's research programme and will provide you with a range of historical skills, allowing you to pursue independent research. The MA also provides an introduction to the bibliographical, archival and other skills relevant to this field of study. Taught within the Department of History, the MA is designed to develop a range of generic skills as you follow up your core interest in the history of fraternalism. These skills will be transferable both to other fields of historical research and to non-academic endeavours.
During the academic year of 2008-2009 the programme will be taught in Sheffield with a distance learning MA planned for 2009-2010 or 2010-2011.
For more information, please see www.shef.ac.uk/history/ma/freemasonry
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors
Director / Senior Lecturer in History
Centre for Research into Freemasonry
34, Gell Street
Sheffield S3 7QY
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 9893
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 98 94
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