Awkward History, Awkward Theory

Ian MacCormack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on a contribution to a panel discussion on Dana Logan’s Awkward Rituals, this essay addresses the first chapter of the book, in which Logan discusses the rites of Freemasons in the early American republic. It considers the particular significance of Masonic ritual practice with respect to Logan’s arguments about patterns of change in pre- and post-Revolutionary America; and reflects on the general theoretical import of this notion of ritual awkwardness, embodied by the Freemasons, considered as a form of purposive activity. It raises questions about the broader applicability in comparative religious studies of Logan’s insights, both for studying history and for thinking about ritual.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalMethod and Theory in the Study of Religion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Brill Academic Publishers. All rights reserved.


  • Freemasonry
  • comparative religion
  • ritual theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Awkward History, Awkward Theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this