'Any spiritual life must tremble with the anxiety of freedom, even in the most profound fulfillment of our aspirations...' Would Heaven be boring? Do you want to live forever? If this is all there is, what should we do with it? Join the Swedish philosopher Martin Hagglund on an original inquiry into the deepest questions of existence. To truly embrace the freedom that life grants us, Hagglund argues, we must rid ourselves of two delusions. On the one hand, all the great religions try to persuade us that immortality is just around the corner. This is a not only a lie: it couldn't help us if it was true. In reality our time in this world is the only thing of value we can ever possess, and its value depends on the fact that we must fight to keep it. Yet capitalism, our other spiritual enemy, constantly beguiles us to steal it. Via profound engagements with some of the greatest philosophers and theologians in history, including Aristotle, St Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Hegel and Marx, Hagglund takes aim at these two great adversaries, religion and capitalism, stripping away their many subtle illusions to return us to life itself in all its fragility. The final lesson is this: existence is a collective project. Everything is at stake in what we do together, and nothing outside it matters. In illuminating this profound truth, This Life announces itself as the first great work of existentialist philosophy of the 21st century.
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Date of Publication: 04/07/2019