Evangelical Churches and Freemasonry in Mid-Nineteenth Century Calais, Maine and St. Stephen, New Brunswick
Issue: Vol 2 No. 1 (2011)
Subject Areas: Religious Studies
The impact of the decline and resurrection of nineteenth century freemasonry on the Canadian-American borderlands has only recently attracted scholarly attention. Antimasonry’s significance within American political history is obviously less transferrable to British North America. However, the antimasonic movement reflected broader anxieties concerning social distinctions, gender, and Christianity, especially evangelicalism. This paper explores the relationship between evangelicalism and freemasonry
in New Brunswick and eastern Maine, with a particular focus on coastal communities. On the one hand, early borderlands lodges reflected the increased Christianization of American masonry, and evangelicals were divided or ambivalent concerning antimasonry. Yet antimasonry was strong enough to close nearly all New Brunswick lodges for 15 years, After the 1840s, evangelical churches began their rapprochement with freemasonry. These changes reflected not only the lessening of political
controversies, but the extent to which both the fraternal and the evangelical versions of masculinity had become more socially mainstream.
Author: Hannah M. Lane