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p. 937. Brotherhood challengedlocked

  • Andreas Önnerfors


From its outset, freemasonry has been perceived as a distinctly male form of sociability. However, criticism of its exclusion of women began early on and eventually led to the establishment of female or mixed para-masonic orders and to entirely female offshoots of mainstream freemasonry. ‘Brotherhood challenged’ describes the organization and development of female freemasonic lodges, first seen during the 1740s, and the female adoption ritual, which is centred on the biblical story of the Ark of Noah. The largest and most influential mixed masonic order was Le Droit Humain, established in 1893 as a consequence of the initiation of feminist leader Maria Deraismes into a male lodge in Paris.

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