Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science
In 1660, within a few months of the restoration of Charles II, a group of twelve men, including Robert Boyle and Christopher Wren, met in London to set up a society to study the mechanisms of nature. At a time when superstition and magic governed reason, the repressive dogma of Christian belief silenced many, and where post-war loyalties ruined careers, these men forbade the discussion of religion and politics at their meetings. The Royal Society was born and with it modern, experimental science.
This situation seems unlikely enough, but the fact that the founding members came from both sides of a brutal Civil War makes its origins all the more astonishing. Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science is a fascinating study of the turbulent political, economic, and religious background to the formation of the Royal Society - an era of war against the Dutch, the Great Plague, and the Great Fire of London. In particular, it reveals the ambitions of one man. Sir Robert Moray, the key driving force behind the society. Building on his detailed experience of another organization and the principles on which it was based, Moray was able to structure and gain finance for the Royal Society. This other organization, the "Invisible College" as Boyle called it, is known today as Freemasonry.
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