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Darkness Visible: A Christian Appraisal of Freemasonry Paperback – 1 May 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Saint Austin Press; 3rd Revised edition edition (1 May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901157709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901157703
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,213,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Is being a Freemason compatible with one's duty to God as a practising Christian? That is the question which the Rev. Walton Hannah, then a Church of England clergyman (but later a Catholic priest), set himself to answer with the publication of his Darkness Visible in 1952. Over 45 years later, this classic is now in its 17th impression, and is as popular as ever. Hannah wrote this book to prove his conviction that for a religious or quasi-religious organisation such as Freemasonry to offer prayers and worship to God from which the name of Jesus Christ has been deliberately excluded represents the abandonment of the Christian faith which many of its members nevertheless profess to uphold. No intelligent answer to his case has ever been made. Darkness Visible has been continuously in print since 1952. It includes the entire and authentic texts of the Masonic ritual of the first three degrees and of the Royal Arch. The accuracy of these has never been questioned, and was confirmed to a special Working Group of the Synod of the Church of England in 1987 by Commander Higham, Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England. In 1983 Stephen Knight's informative, wide-ranging and best-selling critique of Freemasonry, The Brotherhood, devoted a number of pages to Hannah's book which, he said, "alone deals conclusively with the matter of whether or not Masonry is a religion".

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is conveniently split into two halves. The first part contains Rev Hannah's opinions why a Christian cannot be a Freemason. Well, he was entitled to his views but many Vicars, Bishops, and other Churchmen have no difficulty being "On the Square" and even some Roman Catholic clergy, as Hannah himself became, are secretly Freemasons as their church, NOT The Craft, would bar them. The second half of "Darkness Visible" is first class, an accurate description of Masonic Ritual free of the sensationalism and false embelishments of both earlier and later books on this subjects such as the ridiculous and inaccurate "The Brotherhood". I commend "Darkness Visible" to both Brethren and non-Masons wishing to make a serious study of The Craft but take the authors adverse opinions and theological reasoning under advisement!
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
Having read "Darkness Visible" by Rev Walton Hannah, a former ordained Anglican priest who deserted that Church for Roman Catholicism, I have to say it is "good in parts" like the Curate's Egg, rather apt given Hannah's profession.
The accuracy of the Masonic Rituals is first class, indeed many Freemasons actually buy this book as an aid to learning their words and understanding more about The Craft. As to Rev Hannah's opinions, well, we all have an opinion and I feel his are shaped by his Romanist viewpoint. I personally feel that there are more incompatible issues between Christianity and Roman Catholicism than between Christianity and Freemasonry but do not feel the need to write a book on this nor do I condemn RCs who genuinely believe in and practice their faith. Masons do a great deal of good behind the scenes for those less fortunate both in the UK and abroad. So in fine, "Darkness Visible" 5 stars for accuracy of ritual with no invention, 5 "rasberries" for its subjective and biased opinions.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
I have read this book and bought it again for a Masonic Friend. There are two parts to Walton Hannah's great work. This first contains his views as a convert to Roman Catholicism about Freemasonry. To coin a phrase, "he would say that wouldn't he?" The second is a very accurate compilation of Masonic Ritual without some of the sensational inventions and inaccurate sensationalism of other so called exposures of the Craft such as the useless "The Brotherhood" and "Inside the Brotherhood" . I would comend the second part of this book to the serious student Mason and Non Mason alike, but take the late Father Hannah's opinions with a pinch of salt.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful By D M DEANSHAW on 28 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to educate myself which i have. its bias is unfortunate and the bigotry not very sensible. the author admits his antagonism at the start, but then he is cleric and should know better, if he were not so narrow minded.
the non mason may find this interesting because it provides the basic ritual, albeit the 1950 version which is now out of date and has changed somewhat.
anybody who wants to believe that masons are wicked will be encouraged, those with an open mind may find its symbolism attractive. happy to discuss with any reader.
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