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Culture Clash: From Religious to Secular Society

For hundreds of years, religion and politics seemed inseparable. But with the dawning of the Enlightenment, innovative philosophers sparked revolutionary ideals of democracy, equality, and freedom that soon transformed the world. As champions of tolerance and equality, Enlightenment Masons were at the forefront of this evolution.

Join us for this year’s UCLA International Conference, taking place April 7, 2018: “Secular Enlightenment: Balancing Faith and Masonic Virtues”

Learn how Masons balanced the intersection of religious and secular forces during the Enlightenment, with an approach that was both radical and revolutionary. Hear from iconic Masonic scholar Margaret Jacob as she completes her pre-retirement tenure at UCLA. Speakers from around the world will travel to Los Angeles to honor Professor Jacob's remarkable career and share global perspectives of Masonic scholarship.

Our esteemed speakers will include:

  • Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire, Ph.D., University of Nice, France Lodges as sanctuaries or workshops for the world: In the 18th century, Masonic lodges found themselves at a crossroads when some members wanted to limit philanthropy to the intimate setting of the lodge and others wanted to promote Masonic values within the public sphere.
  • José Antonio Ferrer Benimeli, Ph.D., University of Zaragoza, Spain The French Revolution: Did existing Masonic values of fraternity and equality fuel the French Revolution, or was it the French Revolution that enshrined these values in Freemasonry?
  • Jessica Harland-Jacobs, Ph.D., University of Florida Early secular Freemasonry: Although early Freemasonry claimed to accept men of all faiths, in the 19th century, this aim was oftentimes limited by imperialist forces.
  • Reinhard Markner, M.A., University of Innsbruck, Austria Revisiting the Illuminati: Although the Illuminati Order was dismissed as a school for radicalism in the 1700s, contemporary research suggests that Illuminati degrees may in fact align with the central ideas of radical, secular Enlightenment thought.
  • Remzi Sanver, Ph.D., Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey Secular spirituality: From the unique vantage point of 20th century Turkey, discover how Freemasonry offers men an avenue for exploring secular spirituality through universal esotericism.
  • María Eugenia Vázquez Semadeni, Ph.D., Mexico Unveiling Masonic History  

Join us for lunch!
Conference registration is $30 and includes a complimentary continental breakfast and afternoon refreshments.

For an extra $20, join us for a delicious, southern-style buffet lunch. Enjoy macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and other classic favorites!

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