21. October 2019.

International Conference: “Freemasonry in South-East Europe from the 19th to the 21st Centuries”

On October 12, 2019, an international scholarly conference on the history of freemasonry was held in Belgrade at the Institute for European Studies (IES) in Belgrade, Trg Nikole Pasica 11. The conference was entitled “Freemasonry in South-East Europe from the 19th to the 21st Centuries.” Twelve panellists took part in the conference from Serbia, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Costa Rica. The conference was organised by the Institute for European Studies in co-operation with the Regular Grand Lodge of Serbia within the scheme of the celebration of one-hundredth anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes “Yugoslavia”. On October 11, Bro. Tahir Hasanović made a special cocktail for the foreign participants of the conference in Savoy Hotel. The graphic design of the conference was made by Bro. Svetislav Todorović.

The conference represents a kind of continuation of the first scholarly conference covering this topic that was organised on May 11, 2017, in Slovenia by Dr. Matevž Košir on the occasion of three-hundredth anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England. The conference in Ljubljana was organised by the National Museum of Slovenia, the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia and the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia. The meeting in Belgrade held on October 12, 2019, represented the first scholarly conference on Freemasonry ever held in Belgrade.

On Friday, October 11, a special cocktail was organised in Hotel Savoy. On that occasion the participants were greeted by MW GM Prof. Lukas Rasulić, and the director of IES Dr. Miša Djurković.

The next day, on Saturday, October 12, the conference was held. It consisted of three panels and the opening section. In the opening session MW GM Prof. Lukas Rasulić expressed satisfaction that the meeting took place in the year when the RGLS celebrated one hundred years of the Grand Lodge of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes “Yugoslavia”. He remarked that it was impossible to write a proper history of a grand lodge without consulting archives of other grand lodges from the region, Europe and the United States. For this reason, he stressed, it was very important to organise meetings of this kind where experts from the region and Europe could exchange their sources and experiences related to this topic. He stressed that among those who attended the meeting were the leading experts on the history of Freemasonry in their native countries (Italy, Hungary and Slovenia, Serbia).

After the speech of the grand master, address of the director of the Institute for European Studies Dr. Miša Djurković followed, and also address of the co-ordinator of the meeting Prof. S. G. Markovich.

The following twelve panellists took part in the conference: Prof. Fulvio Conti of the University of Florence, Dr. Ljubinka Toševa Karpowicz from Rijeka, Dr. Eric Beckett Weaver of the University of Debrecen, Dr. Attila Pók of the Institute for Advanced Studies (ISAK) in Koszeg, a retired member of the Institute for History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Mihailo Milinković of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade, Dr. Stanislav Sretenović, research director at the Institute for Contemporary History, Belgrade, Prof. S. G. Markovich of the Institute for European Studies and the University of Belgrade, Dr. Matevž Košir of the Archives of Slovenia, Dr. Miša Djurković, research director and director of the Institute for European Studies, Belgrade, Dr. Zsolt Lazar of the University of Novi Sad, Dr. Nemanja Radulović of the Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade and Mr. Oscar Barboza Lizano, a PhD student at the University of Warsaw.    

The Institute for European Studies plans to issue proceedings from this conference in English in due period.