Andrew Prescott distinguished between
academic and Masonic research. He added:
"Research is aimed at producing new
discoveries. Anything which has another
function for example improving
Freemasons' own understanding of
their rituals is not research, but education.
Good research should assist education,
but it is not its primary aim."
However, he went on: "Any piece of
research whose conclusions are primarily
directed towards Freemasons' own
appreciation and practice of the Craft is not
academic research it is Masonic research."
It was essential to distinguish between
academic and Masonic research, and he
urged Lodges and Associations "to aspire
to more academic research."
He warned that Masonic research would
remain antiquarian unless it was related to
the themes identified in current scholarly
literature. He made three suggestions:
-- MAs and short courses at Sheffield
University would provide training to assist
in awareness of these wider scholarly texts;
-- Planning should begin for a major history
of English Freemasonry to mark the 300th
anniversary of its establishment in 1717; and
-- There was a place for a large international
On the second point, research Lodges
and Associations may have an input into this
massive undertaking. On the latter point,
Bob Cooper revealed that Scotland would
be hosting an international event in 2007.
The meeting agreed to meet again for
Note: Professor Andrew Prescott will be writing
in the next issue of MQ on how to research
Freemasonry, providing a detailed list of
Internet-based search engines for this purpose.
Pictured (left to right):
Prestonian Lecturer Trevor Stewart,
Pro Grand Master Lord Northampton
and Quatuor Coronati Lodge Master Jim
Daniel at the London hosting of the Lecture
Photograph: David Peabody
Web site created by Mark Griffin