The Toronto Society for Masonic Research is bringing Kent Henderson from Australia to Toronto, September 21-24, 2007. Details can be found at the tsmr.org web site. Below are abstracts of Kent's standard lectures:
Brief ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS
A Masonic Wedding
A fascinating look at the Masonic Wedding Ceremony as used under the Grand Lodge of Turkey, and some other jurisdictions. Looks at the history of the ceremony, its modern usage, its symbolism, and religious issues associated with the ceremony. Includes a walk through of the ritual, and an explanation of it.
A Prescription for Masonic Renewal
An account of the introduction, history and success of the "European Concept" Lodge model first introduce by the author into a lodge in Victoria, Australia in 1993. The concept took and melded the best Masonic practices of European and English-speaking Masonry, using the "Three Great Pillars" of quality ceremonial, quality ritual, and most importantly, quality Masonic Education.
Freemasonry in Arab Countries -- An Analytical Review
A very topical issue given the current state of world geopolitics. The paper looks at the history of Freemasonry in Arab countries, the background and reasons behind Islamic antipathy towards the Craft, the religious aspects of the matter, and the current state of Masonry in the Islamic world.
Italian Freemasonry & the P2 Incident
This paper looks at the muddled history of Italian Masonry, and particularly its led up to the notorious P2 "Masonic" Lodge, the connections of Italian Masonry to politics and religion, the P2 lodge incident, its ramifications for Italian Freemasonry and the Craft in general, and the current state of Italian Masonry today.
Masonic Government & Practice -- a World Perspective
This paper looks at the history and state of Masonic government worldwide, and examines the various types of Masonic governments, including Grand Orients, and elective and appointive Grand Lodges, and their variants. Examines the problems of each form of Masonic government, and role it has played in the success or otherwise of the Craft in various locations.
Overseas Masonic Practices - What Can They Teach Us?
This paper deals with the multitude of varying Masonic practices around the world, in lodge layout, ritual and ceremonies, and forms. It compares practices and rituals in varying locations, and discusses their merits in terms of perceived strengths and weaknesses.
The First Degree around the World
This paper reviews the various working of the First Degree around the world, from the Emulation Workings in England, the Webb-Form rituals of the United States, to the various European workings, such as The French Rite and the German Schroeder Ritual. The latter is particularly highlighted, and includes a brief walk-through of the Schroeder First Degree Ceremony, explaining its differences and divergent symbolism.
This paper looks at the "strange" Masonic practices used under various Grand Lodges around the world, in ritual, ceremonial, attire, regalia, and after-proceedings. Comparisons and drawn and explanations are given.
HOW TO EXPLAIN FREEMASONRY to a WIFE or NON-MASON
One of the biggest problems in gaining new members to Freemasonry is the fact that most Masons have considerable difficulty in explaining it to anyone. In the author's view this seriously limits recruitment. The old adage of "you'll find out when you join" does not wash in contemporary society. Given the competition Masonry faces in modern times to attract members, this matter is very important. This paper sets out, in succinct form, what can be usefully communicated to non-Masons and how to go about it. (This paper is most suitable when ladies and non-Masons are invited to be present).