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C.V. for Chris McClintock
I live in Coleraine, County L/Derry, Northern Ireland and became a Mason in 1992 in Royal Blue Lodge No. 754 in the Province of Londonderry/Donegal in the Irish Constitution. I was Master of the lodge in 2005. I became a Royal Arch Mason in 754 Chapter in 1996 and joined Lodge CC, the Irish Lodge of Research in 2004 to assist me in my examination of the symbols of the Craft.
My interest in Freemasonry started long before I became a Mason, born from a fascination in ancient symbolism and its adaption to new meanings through the ages. In my working life I am a stained glass artist and I have a deep interest in the differing iconography employed by various faiths. I saw many Christian symbols as having a much more ancient pedigree, and when I came to cast an eye over the symbols of Freemasonry I found them to have a similarly ancient lineage. In both cases I believe the symbols originate in the veneration of the sun in the distant past. That is not to say I believe their use today in Freemasonry is pagan, indeed very far from it; they are simply used as non-dogmatic expressions of deity, unaffiliated to any faith or creed to enable the Craft to be universal.
On first becoming a Mason I was struck by both the curiosity of the rites of the lodge room and the Craft’s, or certainly the Irish Craft’s, strenuous labours to preserve them unchanged. From the very first moment I set foot in a lodge of Freemasons at labour I was convinced that the rituals, movements and symbols were not pseudo-archaic rites introduced to the Craft by the Speculative Masons of the 18th Century as most academic researchers believe them to be, but had been already present and possessed much deeper meanings that were truly ancient.
For the last ten years I have applied myself a minute study of the nuances of the Lodge Room and my studies form the basis of a radical and comprehensive thesis on the origin of the Craft. I have delivered three papers to the Irish Lodge of Research and one to Lodge Hope of Kurrachee in Scotland. I have also addressed many groups, both Craft Lodges and Historical Societies, on my findings. My studies will culminate in a planned series of four books. The first was published in 2010 as ‘The Craft and the Cross’, and shows the common origin of Masonic and Christian symbolism. More details can be found at www.thecraftandthecross.com
The second book will be published during 2011. It carries what is in the first book much further, and supplies a solid foundation for the speculation on the meaning of the Craft’s symbolism that is contained in the first book.