Lord Gifford's bequest was to sponsor lectures that would 'promote and diffuse the knowledge of God'. Scruton is not a member of any Church though he believes that man's relation to God is the most important relation he has. Today God is widely rejected as incompatible with modern science but what do we lose when we lose that belief? The atheist, argues Scruton with great originality, proceeds by systematic acts of aggression against the Face - not the human face only, but the face of the world. Contemporary atheism is the desire to escape from the eye of judgement. You escape from the eye of judgement by blotting out the face - most assertively the Face of God.

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