High-Grade Freemasonry and Illuminism in the Eighteenth Century
This chapter examines 18th-century Freemasonry and illuminism and its influence on the history of Western esotericism. After Rosicrucianism supplied the myth of a secret society cultivating hermetic sciences, Freemasonry provided a vehicle for the historical transmission of theosophical and alchemical traditions. The Illuminist societies were high-grade varieties of Freemasonry and they were overtly esoteric in their ideas and practices.
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