In his most recent work, the contemporary philosopher Roger Scruton has turned his attention to religion. Although a religious sensibility ties together his astonishingly prodigious and dynamic output as
a philosopher, poet and composer, his recent exploration of religious and theological themes from a philosophical point of view has excited a fresh response from scholars. This collection of writings addresses Scruton's challenging and subtle philosophy of religion for the first time.
The volume includes contributions from those who specialize in the philosophy of religion, the history of thought and culture, aesthetics, and church history. The collection is introduced by Mark Dooley, author of two books on Scruton, and includes a response to the writings from Scruton himself in which he develops his idea of the sacred and the erotic and defends the integrity of his work as an attempt to give a sense of the Lebenswelt (or 'lifeworld'): how humans experience the world. He argues that religion emerges from that experience and transforms us from beings bound by causal necessity into persons who acknowledge freedom, obligation and right.
A unique and fascinating collection of writings that sheds light on this hitherto unexplored aspect of Roger Scruton's philosophy.
James Bryson is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR) at McGill University, Canada.
Introduction: Saving the Sacred 1. Roger Scruton as a Philosopher for Religion Mark Dooley 2. A Transcendental Argument for the Transcendental Roger Scruton Part I: What is the Sacred? Some Philosophical and Theological Responses 3. What is the Sacred? John Cottingham 4. The Great Absence Anthony O'Hear 5. Locating the Sacred Robert Grant 6. Metaphysical and Doctrinal Implications Brian Hebblethwaite 7. That Obscure Object of Desire Fiona Ellis 8. A Glance at the Face of God Michael Pakaluk Part II: Recalling the Sacred Philosophical and Theological Sources 9. On Finding Beauty and Truth in Rene Girard Christopher S. Morrissey 10. The Problem with Plato James Bryson 11. Hierophany or Theophany? Douglas Hedley 12. Beyond Dover Beach Alexandra Slaby Part III: Sensing the Sacred Aesthetics, Art and Religion 13. Religious Thought and the Sensory World Mark Wynn 14. The Aesthetic Education of Mankind Thomas Curran 15. Entering the Unknown: Music, Self and God Ferdia J. Stone-Davis 16. Art as Religion? Vanessa Rogers Part IV: Conserving the Sacred Common Law, Conservatism and Conservation 17. Law, Liberty and Polity Peter Bryson 18. The Loss of the Sacred and the Challenge of Modern Conservatism Daniel Cullen 19. Loving One's Home in a Philosophical Culture Charles Taliaferro 20. Thinking is Something Daunting Chantal Delsol Part V: The Sacred and the Secular Charles Taylor and Roger Scruton in Conversation Epilogue No Through Road Roger Scruton