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.

Latest Articles

Building Beautiful: An interview with Nicholas Boys Smith

On September 28, 2020, the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation hosted the first interview of its new online event series Building Beautiful. The event featured Nicholas Boys Smith, Founding Director of...

News from Scrutopia - 26th Sept 2020

Read the latest from Scrutopia here: https://mailchi.mp/fc1accfb98e3/4dxue1xf97-3781441

Scrutopia Book Club

Join us on Friday 23rd October at 2pm for the second in our series of virtual book club meetings.    What to read: Conversations with Roger Scruton, and I am delighted...

Before & After Scruton, The European Conservative - 17 Aug 20

I usually jest that my life divides into two parts: ‘Before Scruton’ and ‘After Scruton.’ My first five books were devoted to Søren Kierkegaard, Jacques Derrida, ethics, and postmodern theology....

Recent Books

Roger Scruton: Philosopher on Dover Beach

Roger Scruton: Philosopher on Dover Beach

Bloomsbury (2009) Roger Scruton is one of the outstanding British philosophers of the post-war years. Why then is he at best ignored and at worst reviled? Part of the reason...

Wagner's Parsifal: The Music of Redemption

‘Wagner’s Parsifal – The Music of Redemption’  This short but penetrating book, by a writer who was uniquely both a leading philosopher and musicologist, shows us how Wagner achieves this...

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...

2020 Events

Book Club - Conversations with Roger Scruton - Fri 23 Oct 2020