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The Soul of the World
Roger Scruton

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"Once again drawing on insights offered by his conservatism he inquires into the nature of intimacy, relatedness, inter-subjectivity, moral intuitions and the capacity for aesthetic appreciation, and their implications for the sacred and transcendent in a society besotted by an arrogant scientism unprepared to accept its own profound limitations."--Mervyn Bendle, Quadrant Magazine

"[A] small but elegant volume which brings to the fore Scruton's central themes of art, music, and mystery, built on the interlocking, though unfashionable, notions of beauty and truth."--Joe Gelonesi, ABC Radio National's "The Philosopher's Zone"

"Scruton as usual mounts broad challenges to the conventional wisdom about nearly everything."--Steven Hayward, Power Lines

"It is immensely entertaining to see Scruton run the reductionists to ground, then eviscerate them with the appetite of a hungry beagle. The Soul of the World is worth reading for the blood sport alone; but Scruton is after bigger game. His ultimate objective is the philosopher's trophy: meaning. And that, Scruton believes, lies in our experience of the sacred. . . . The Soul of the World is a highly personal vision of a reconstructed Lebenswelt. In a series of cogent, fascinating chapters, he explains why we should set our sights on the beautiful horizon."--Dominic Green, Weekly Standard

"The beginning of Scruton's book is exciting because he immediately acknowledges the emotional core of religion. . . . Scruton gives us a welcome refocusing of the religion debate on the personal level rather than the genetic and group-selection levels. . . . This territory--the phenomenology of religion--is where Scruton is most interesting and nuanced."--Stephen T. Asma, Chronicle Review

"There is a crying need for Scruton's sort of attitude that understands that everything rests on human subjectivity."--Angus Kennedy, Spiked Review of Books

"For a vigorous, challenging, at times infuriating essay at recovering the order for human existence in its full dimensions from what can seem to be the overwhelming successful technological and scientistic culture we all live in, Scruton's extended meditation can hardly be bettered."--Brendan Purcell, VoegelinView

"Scruton's range of learning is truly remarkable."--Thomas D. Senor, Philosophers' Magazine

"Scruton's strongest ideas prove intriguing and thought-provoking in this relatively short book. . . . In the end, he has done both philosophy and religion a great service."--Arlice Davenport, Wichita Eagle

"Roger Scruton is one of the most lucid articulators of this discomfort at a purely materialist account of human origins."--Nick Spencer, Tablet

"Scruton is on particularly strong form on music: for instance, on how necessity and freedom function in it. On this territory, he is as worthy of attention as anyone currently writing on music."--Andrew Davison, Church Times

"[R]efreshing. . . . The Soul of the World is a short book that contains many insights about classic religious concerns. Clearly written and carefully argued, the text is rich and subtle, well worth reading and rereading."--Dennis O'Brien, Christian Century

"The Soul of the World is a stimulating read and will be helpful to anyone who wants some original insights into the emptiness of Naturalism. I anticipate, however, that the solution Scruton offers will not satisfy the Evangelical reader."--Thom Atkinson, Churchman

"For a vigorous, challenging, at times infuriating essay at recovering the order of human existence in its full dimensions from what can seem to be the overwhelmingly successful technological and scientific culture we all live in, Scruton's extended meditation can hardly be bettered."--Brendan Purcell, VoegelinView

"[A] beautifully written, elegant, and exceptional essay. . . . The essay is essentially an extended reflection on why a sense of the sacred is integral to human life. . . . Scruton's essay calls for a level of spiritual attentiveness to our surroundings."--Martyn Percy, Journal of Contemporary Religion

"An erudite . . . book. . . . Recommended for its scope, ingenuity, and Scruton's inimitable style."--Charles Taliaferro, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

"The Soul of the World is stimulating for the mind and nourishing for the soul."--William J. Meyer, Sophia

"Beautifully written."--Network Review

"The Soul of the World is an important work, that's affirmative even when he tackles the question of death. Highly personal, demanding, yet beautifully written and moving in its insights. A book to read, savour and reflect on."--Alan Price, Magonia


"Its passion, imagination, and sensitivity to all aspects of our world mean that this is a book that can be enjoyed by humanists as much as by those who identify themselves as religious. Scruton's God is embedded in the human world, including our art, architecture, music, and literature to which he is such a fascinating guide, which is the right place for gods to be."--Simon Blackburn, author of Think and Mirror, Mirror

"This is a wonderful and in many places beautiful work; closely argued, though best read not as an argument but as a genuine 'turning for home' on the part of a learned and deeply thoughtful man, who offers us hard-won insights as he fixes his gaze on our final end."--Mark Johnston, Princeton University

"This is a rich and highly sensitive book, which engages the reader on many levels, and which approaches religion not doctrinally, but via the full range of human sensibility, especially moral and aesthetic, and our capacities for seeing the world not just in terms of impersonal scientific structures, but in deeply personal terms. Finely written and argued, the book is philosophically sophisticated yet accessible."--John Cottingham, Heythrop College London and University of Reading

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File created: 9/19/2017

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