Thursday, April 2, 2020

‘2020 Prestonian Lecture book now available’

The book of the 2020 Prestonian Lecture was published a few days ago, and now is available for purchase via Amazon.

A System of Morality: Aristotle and English Masonic Ritual by George Boys-Stones can be had in Kindle format and as a paperback. From the publicity:

English Freemasonry defines itself as a “system of morality,” but what does that phrase mean? This new study traces it back to the work of William Preston (1742-1818), who argued that Freemasonry teaches a philosophical approach to virtue. According to Preston, the rituals of Freemasonry are designed to lead the initiate through the ethical thought of Aristotle. His view proved popular, and was decisive in shaping the ritual approved for use by the United Grand Lodge of England shortly after its formation in 1813. Almost all English lodges, and many others throughout the world, still use a ritual derived from this one, and, perhaps without realizing it, continue to pay silent testimony to Preston and to Aristotle in their work.

I had Bro. Boys-Stones booked to present his Prestonian Lecture next month at my lodge in Manhattan and my research lodge in New Jersey, but Coronamania intervened. We’ll get those events rescheduled. In the meantime, I’m getting this book!

Every year, the United Grand Lodge of England selects a worthy brother to serve as the Prestonian Lecturer; in this capacity, he travels the jurisdiction to deliver his lecture in lodges and other venues. Sometimes they travel abroad. This tradition was commenced upon the death of William Preston in 1818 with a bequest to the new grand lodge, and has continued uninterrupted (excepting the years of the Second World War) since.

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