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Idle Hands, Distracted Minds: Roger Scruton and the Attempt to Save Culture from Meaninglessness

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Online Event


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Margarita Mooney Clayton, Ph.D.

Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and Executive Director

Scala Foundation

Francis X. Maier

Senior Fellow

Catholic Studies Ethics and Public Policy Center

Event Overview

A Dialogue with Francis X. Maier and Margarita Mooney Suarez.

Sir Roger Scruton was one of the most important philosophers of recent decades who gained notoriety for exposing various ways that Marxism and atheism influenced universities and culture. Reflecting on the vast writings of Sir Roger Scruton, in this webinar Francis X. Maier will discuss how we can revitalize American culture, in part by understanding the ideas that have given rise to so much meaninglessness in education and pessimism about culture. Scruton controversially argued that the intellectual efforts to sever the humanities from objective truth led to a worldview that does not recognize the face of God and lacks of any notion of self-sacrifice. Although Scruton famously argued in his book The Uses of Pessimism that optimists and idealists have corrupted our ability to build the common good, Maier will argue that Scruton’s project to restore truth, goodness and beauty in the humanities and education is actually the foundation of cultural renewal. In this webinar, we will explore the key ideas of Roger Scruton from his essays provocatively called “Idle Hands” and “The Devil’s Work”, where he shows why and how many intellectuals place themselves above common-sense wisdom. We will also explore the key ideas from Scruton’s lectures published as The Face of God and The Soul of the World, where he ambitiously lays out a map of how to revitalize psychology, sociology and the humanities by bringing integrating those fields once again with philosophy and theology. Understanding the legacy of Sir Roger Scruton will help all students, teachers, parents, and citizens with any vocation to better navigate the landmines in our current educational system and see how everyone can contribute to the urgent mission of restoring hope and meaning to culture.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of St. Thomas, Houston.