This is the first of the Stanton Lectures ministred by Scruton in 2011.
This lecture can be watched at http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1180477
Note: the [ … ] represents a passage I could not transcript
Note: text in bold and italic represents uncertain transcription
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the first of this year's Stanton lectures. My name is Amon Dafiat I am vice-chanceller's Deputy as chair for the [ … ] so it falls to me and it is my real pleasure and provolege to introduce this year's Stanton Lecturer, Professor Roger Scruton. He's graduate on Jesus College and a former fellow at the Peter Hass and he holds visiting professorships and phylosophy at Oxford and at the University of St. Andrews and he is a visiting scholar at the American Interprise Institute in Washington.He also is one of Britain's most distinguish and wide-ranging public intelectuals. He has written more than thirty books that include novels, memoirs, short stories, as well as influential and frequently contentious writings on Art, Architecture and Music, on Aesthetics more generally, on Animal Rights, on Sexual Desire, and He has written defenses of the values underlying western, and specifically British Culture.
He has being a Professor of Aesthetics, a Publisher, He has run a Consultancy of Ruler Affairs, he is a gifted musician and composer of two Operas. For his frequently personally dangerous work on behalf of intelectual and political freedom in Eastern Europe in the soviet Era, he had the distinction of being placed on the index of undesirable persons by the Czech Autorities.
And he has remained on the index of undesirable persons in the eyes of many left-living intelectuals on account of his views on such matters as social and moral states of homossexual acts, the joys of fox hunting, and indispensability of religion. And it is in that last area that, of course, he is going to address in this lectures.
Professor Scruton was, by his own account, brought up in a home which was a self-consciously religion-free zone. However, his father thought that some encounter with the horrors of organized religion was desirable [ … ] and sent the young Roger Scruton to Sunday school there. It was a mark of the future conservative dissident that the infant Scruton secretely took himself off to the local anglican church where into, of course, he was confirmed.
He never talks without challenging, informing and illuminating and we look foward with more than the usual eargerness to this series of Stanton Lectures. I now invite him to give the first of this lectures: Looking for God.