Roger Scruton’s swan song: salvation through Parsifal

This is Roger Scruton’s final book. Parsifal was Wagner’s final opera. Both works are intended to be taken as Last Words: testaments of belief at the end of a long spiritual journey. In the introduction, Scruton identifies the enduring problem in his life, and ours, as: ‘How to live in right relation with others, even if there is no God.’ He gives us his answer: Whether or not there is a God, there is this hallowed path towards a kind of salvation, the path that Wagner described as ‘godliness’, the path taken by Parsifal, and it is a path open to us all. Scruton sees Parsifal as a tale of