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The Soul of the World Hardcover – 18 Mar 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; First Edition edition (18 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691161577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691161570
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"The interest of his project lies not so much in the conclusions themselves, but rather in the way he attempts to establish them. Most conservatives place great weight on contingent features of the human condition. They emphasize our cognitive limitations, our anti-social impulses and the sheer extent of our ignorance, or they delve into the details of human history in order to establish that the old ways cannot be abandoned so quickly. Scruton's conservatism is more rationalistic."--David Owens, Times Literary Supplement



"[A] stately and often beautiful journey through various areas of human experience. . . . [W]ide-ranging and intellectually impassioned."--Sarah Bakewell, Financial Times



"[I]n no previous work has he woven together so successfully his thoughts on aesthetics, personhood, politics, and religion. . . . [A] book that--for its richness, scope, and beauty--may be remembered as among his best."--Spencer Case, National Review Online



"Reading Scruton is to take delight in his clarity of expression and linguistic economy, and it's to feel as though you're in the hands of a guide who is unafraid of doubts and uncertainties."--Laura Keynes, Standpoint



"[F]ascinating."--Christopher Hart, Sunday Times



"[C]onvincing."--Jonathan Derbyshire, Prospect



"The Soul of the World is a rich and rewarding work, one composed by a scholar clearly possessing exceptional depth and broad learning."--Jerry Salyer, Catholic World Report



"[T]he English conservative philosopher . . . really is a gift and a wonder."--Rod Dreher, American Conservative



"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

From the Inside Flap


"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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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By T Merry on 11 Jun 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another thoughtful and intelligent book from Roger Scruton, I would recommend this to everyone whether of faith or none who wants to explore the human need for religion and the sacred. My advice would be to take the few negative reviews below with a pinch of salt, as with all Scruton books there are a few that do not come with open minds and are clearly not prepared to engage with the arguments therein - in fact I do wonder if some of these people have even bothered to read the books at all. So don't let these people put you off enjoying the wisdom of this great philosopher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shivanataraja on 9 Dec 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An absolutely necessary corrective to the prevailing materialist view of EVERYTHING; which is what one would expect from a philosopher who stands somewhere to the Right of 'centre'. I'm reading him at the same time as Terry Eagleton's "Culture and the Death of God"; which is 'the other side of the track'. Both equally challenging but scarcely controversial.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Booth on 15 Aug 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not find it as easy a read as some. It follows the growing pattern of admiring Christianity (or at least theism) from the outside.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Taylor on 21 Aug 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
thank you
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22 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Giles Penfold on 10 Jun 2014
Format: Hardcover
Following on the heels of Simon Schama's disgraceful history of Juda**m, which is effectively a full-blown attack on Enlightenment rationalism and a hymn to supernatural bigotry, here is another codger notorious for sacrificing reason for the sake of emotional rants, who here joins the fashion of old white men making a last ditch attempt to save religion.
(cf. "Like all of Scruton's books, it is beautifully written but he is frequently prepared to sacrifice some of the truth for a punchy sentence and will happily include large generalisations, or smooth over historical facts, to serve his argument." (from Amazon Review of 'Our Church' by 'Tiger', q.v.) )
Scruton, ex-editor of the far-right Salisbury Review, also recently penned a study of sexuality in which he managed to 'intuit', again without reasoning of any kind, that heterosexuals like himself were superior to everyone else. In this volume, sentimental twaddle sits comfortably with religious bigotry and unreason. And it is of course no coincidence that like Schama he has embraced the US academy,where so-called scholars can out themselves as supernaturalists without the inevitable ridicule which would attend them in the European intellectual climate.
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