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The Western Esoteric TraditionsA Historical Introduction$
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Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195320992

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320992.001.0001

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High-Grade Freemasonry and Illuminism in the Eighteenth Century

High-Grade Freemasonry and Illuminism in the Eighteenth Century

(p.131) 7 High-Grade Freemasonry and Illuminism in the Eighteenth Century
The Western Esoteric Traditions

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Western esotericism, Freemasonry, Illuminism, Rosicrucianism, theosophy, alchemy

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