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Anthropologic School, The

The name given to a comparatively small number of Masonic writers and researchers who have not agreed with the largest number of Masonic scholars that Freemasonry originated in Medieval architecture and was formed and constituted and manned by builders, but believe that it bas existed throughout the world for many centuries, or even for thousands of years.

Their answer to questions about rites, ceremonies, and symbols in the Lodge is to refer to rites and symbols of more or less primitive peoples, and especially to primitive tribes such as still are found in Africa. In order to maintain this theory they have broken with the established conclusions of Masonic historians of the type that is found in Quatuor Coronati and similar Lodges of Masonic research ; they also disagree with the established authorities on anthropology of whom none has ever found any Freemasonry in primitive rites and symbols; but who would have reported such findings if there had been any because among the thousands of professional anthropologists in America and Europe a large number have been Masons.

The terms used in duly-constituted and regular Freemasonry, Operative or Speculative, do not support the anthropologic theory. But from another point of view, and having in mind that ritualism and symbolism in Freemasonry are but one instance of ritualism and symbolism in general, anthropology gives a Masonic student a larger and richer background of thought and helps him better to understand Masonry's own rites and symbols. For that purpose there may be added to the books of Masonic anthropologists the non-Masonic works of such professional anthropologists as Lord Avebury, Rivers, Levy-Bruhl, Frazer, Goldenweiser, Boas, Mead,Webster, etc.

See Arcana of Freemasonry, by Albert Ch urch ward ; Macoy Publishing Co., New York; 1915. Signs and Symbols of Prilnordial Man, by Albert Churchward; Geo. Allen & Co., London. 1913. The Arcane Schools, by Jobn Yarker; William Tait; Belfast; 1909. Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, by J. S. M. Ward; Simpkins, Marshall; London; 1921. Freemmonry; Its Aims and Ideals, by J. S. M Ward; Wm. Rider & sons; London; 1923.

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