Face of God
The Gifford Lectures
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Roger Scruton explores the place of God in a disenchanted world. His argument is a response to the atheist culture that is now growing around us, and also a defence of human uniqueness. He rebuts the claim that there is no meaning or purpose in the natural world, and argues that the sacred and the transcendental are 'real presences', through which human beings come to know themselves and to find both their freedom and their redemption. In the human face we find a paradigm of meaning. And from this experience, Scruton argues, we both construct the face of the world, and address the face of God. We find in the face both the proof of our freedom and the mark of self-consciousness. One of the motivations of the atheist culture is to escape from the eye of judgement. You escape from the eye of judgement by blotting out the face: and this, Scruton argues, is the most disturbing aspect of the times in which we live. In his wide-ranging argument Scruton explains the growing sense of destruction that we feel, as the habits of pleasure seeking and consumerism deface the world. His book defends a consecrated world against the habit of desecration, and offers a vision of the religious way of life in a time of trial.
Reviewed in The Economist. Roger Scruton is one of our most interesting intellectuals... This is an important book, with a very wide cultural range. It is brave in pointing to a turning away from God as the fundamental plight of our times. -- The Church Times ... if you want a handy pocket guide to humanity's perennial search for God, one that will take you safely round the edges of the current religious battlefield, this elegant and gracious book is one to buy. -- New Statesman Extract featured in The Catholic Herald. ... [Scruton's] sequence on the structure of the eff able (buildings) is good, and the book contains many interesting and prettily phrased thoughts. -- The Guardian
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