Soul of the World

roger-scruton-soul-of-the-worldPrinceton University Press (2014)

The Soul of the World is a defence of the sacred against today's fashionable forms of atheism.

Our personal relationships, moral intuitions, and aesthetic judgments hint at a transcendent dimension that cannot be understood through the lens of science alone. To be fully alive—and to understand what we are—is to acknowledge the reality of sacred things. Rather than an argument for the existence of God, or a defense of the truth of religion, the book is an extended reflection on why a sense of the sacred is essential to human life—and what the final loss of the sacred would mean. In short, the book addresses the most important question of modernity: what is left of our aspirations after science has delivered its verdict about what we are? Drawing on art, architecture, music, and literature, Scruton suggests that the highest forms of human experience and expression tell the story of our religious need, and of our quest for the being who might answer it, and that this search for the sacred endows the world with a soul. Evolution cannot explain our conception of the sacred; neuroscience is irrelevant to our interpersonal relationships, which provide a model for our posture toward God; and scientific understanding has nothing to say about the experience of beauty, which provides a God's-eye perspective on reality.

Accreditation for Soul of the World:

One of The Times Literary Supplement’s Books of the Year 2014, chosen by Jonathan Clark
One of Flavorwire’s 10 Best Books by Academic Publishers in 2014
One of the Scotsman’s Books of the Year 2014, chosen by Alexander McCall Smith

Published in 2014 by Princeton University Press.

Hardback
216 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0691161570

Latest Articles

Asnières speech - The right we want is conservative

"Conservatism can transmit the legacy of freedom, freedom that could be too much liberalism to be challenged by other ideologies." Roger Scruton  Read the full transcript here.

BBC Radio 4 Point of View - The Witch Hunt Culture - 2 December 19

The witch-hunt culture. Three years ago the distinguished biochemist Sir Tim Hunt, recipient of the Nobel Prize, Fellow of the Royal Society and one of the jewels in the crown...

Scrutopia Summer School 2019

Now running for a third year, the Scrutopia summer school offers a ten-day immersion experience in the philosophy and outlook of Sir Roger Scruton, the British writer and philosopher who...

Sin Bin

  Journalists who find it difficult to follow intellectual arguments or to understand the use of irony may nevertheless be anxious to add to the indictment against me. I have...

Recent Books

Souls in the Twilight

Beaufort Books  (October 2018) As the lights that have guided us go out, people begin to wander in the twilight, seeking their place of belonging. In these stories, set in...

Music as an Art

Bloomsbury  (August 2018) Music as an Art begins by examining music through a philosophical lens, engaging in discussions about tonality, music and the moral life, music and cognitive science and German...

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Bloomsbury (November 2017) Addressing one of the most politically turbulent periods in modern British history, philosopher Roger Scruton asks how, in these circumstances, we can come to define our identity,...

2018 Events

2019 Events