NSSR Philosophy Workshop Series: Martin Hagglund

Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Wolff Conference Room, Albert and Vera List Academic Center 6 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10011, Room D1103

Martin Hagglund (Yale University) "Burying the Dead in a Secular Age"

In our contemporary age, faith in eternal life is said to have declined, with more people explicitly orienting their lives in terms of the values of a temporal, finite existence. Yet there is a widespread notion that such a lapse in faith is a great loss and that the hope for eternity expresses our deepest desire, even if it cannot be fulfilled. This is the premise—influentially defended by Charles Taylor in A Secular Age—that I call into question in my talk. I seek to show that eternal life is undesirable, since it would remove the dimension of time that is indispensable for a life worth living. Care—for our selves and for others—depends on faith in the value of temporal life, not faith in the value of eternity. I pursue this argument through an analytic of faith and put it to the test of the most agonizing event: the death of the beloved.

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions




The New School for Social Research


Humanity, Society, Social Justice


Philosophy, Health, Wellness and Therapy, Religion and Spirituality


Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served.

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