Freemasonry and the Construction of National Identities in Belgium (19th Century / Early 20th Century)

Project Details


The historical relationship between freemasonry and the contruction of national identities at the centre of attention. A project reseraching this issue on a European level has recently been honoured by the ESF. Relying on the youngest theoretical (constructivist and etno-symbolist) findings concerning nation-building, the promotors wish to adhere to these efforts and to analyze the specific contribution of Belgian freemasonry to the construction of Belgian identities and subidentities. The essential tension between the cosmopoltian goal of the organization and its true connection to nationalism forms the staring point. Freemasonry will be seen as an external reflection of broader societal phenomenons, but also as an internal producer of cultural artefacts with an explicit national or nationalist character. These elements will be analysed on different levels. First of all the level of "constructedness" of national identities will be enquired on. Then the relevance of local, regional, national and colonial dimensions will be analyzed. The archive material that has recently been returned from the ex-USSR will be utilized for these purposes.
Effective start/end date1/01/0731/12/10


  • Freemasonry
  • Nationalism

Flemish discipline codes 2018-2023

  • Philosophy, ethics and religious studies


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