Inspired by T.S. Eliot, Roger Scruton is quite simply my favorite modern traditionalist. His autobiographical book of essays, Gentle Regrets: Thoughts from a Life, is a nothing less than beautiful introduction to his thoughts, beliefs, and the things that shaped his life.
Scruton, a rare conservative British philosopher, is a writer whose style ranges from polemical to poetic, and he is one of the last true Renaissance men. In Gentle Regrets alone he writes elegantly about Burkean conservatism, the soulless condition of modern architecture, music in general and opera in particular, the philosophical relationship between men and their animals, and the need for individuals to recover religious faith. The book evoked in me longings for the true, the good, and the beautiful like no other book has since I read George Weigel's Letters to a Young Catholic.
Perhaps the thing that stands out most for me about Scruton personally is the fact that there is virtually no aspect of life that escapes his philosophical reflection and associations. He is a model of the thinking, reasoning man. And one other thing--he appears immune to the inflated sense of self-importance so prevalent in some of religious faith today. With traditional conservative wit, he says that "the duty of a Christian is not to leave this world a better place. His duty is to leave this world a better man."