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Enlightenment-era Christ mythicist Ernest Renan has Masonic lodge named after him

Ernest Renan (Paris)


The Lodge Ernest Renan was founded in 1910. In 1918, it published a Collection of Maiden Songs. 

No. 72 (2013) of the Chroniques d'Histoire ma�onnique gives interesting details about this Lodge, in the context of an article by Armelle Bossi�re and Pascal Bajou devoted to ½ Firmin G�mier , founder of the TNP , who was a member from 1924 (he had been initiated into the Clémente Amiti� in 1906 but had been canceled in 1907 for non-payment).

In the interwar period, the Lodge had up to 55% artists, including composers Francis Casadesus , Henri-Maurice Jacquet, Andr� Mauprey , Octave Lerichomme and Andr� Cadou . His Initiation ceremonies were accompanied by a Living Harmony Column (with, in 1932, songs by Wagner, Faur� and Bizet).

This Lodge has since merged with the Fraternity of Peoples , founded in 1833 (where Jean Baylot was initiated in 1921), to become Fraternity of Peoples - Ernest Renan , Lodge still active .

<- Medal for the 20th anniversary of the Lodge Ernest Renan . ->

A casting error ?

Renan was not a mason, and it was no doubt his difficulties with the Catholic Church that earned him such consideration in secular circles, and masonry in particular. Those who, without having ever read it, extol it in these circles would no doubt be very surprised to know more: according to Zeev Sternhell in his book, The Anti-Enlightenment: From the Eighteenth Century A key to the Cold War, he is in fact a theoretician of racism, anti-Semitism and the rejection of both the Enlightenment and the republic and democracy.

According to a page from Jean-Paul Coudeyrette's voluminous Compilhistoire site - or even a page from Jean-Laurent's Notebook -, Jean Mamy, the director (under the pseudonym of Paul Riche) of the 1943 anti-Ma�onnique film, Forces occultes , had been, before becoming a collaborator and betraying Masonry, Venerable of this Lodge in 1939.


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"Freemasonry today, although quite hollow, serves as food for many souls"
—Ernest Renan

Freemason Paul Guieysse erects state of Renan:

23Born in Lorient on May 11, 1841, died in Paris on May 19, 1914. Affiliated to Nature et Philanthropie de Lorient in 1870, he remained a member until 1910.

24He entered the Ecole polytechnique in 1860 and became a marine hydrographer engineer. It is above all through his work as an Egyptologist and ethnographer that he became famous. Radical, he was elected deputy for Lorient in 1890 and remained so until 1910. He was appointed Minister of the Colonies in the government of Léon Bourgeois from November 3, 1895 to April 29, 1896. President of the Bleus de Bretagne, he was at the origin of the erection of statues in memory of Hoche, Ange Guépin and Ernest Renan. He is the founder of the League of Human Rights.

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