Lectures & Literary highlights

THIS LIFE: SECULAR FAITH AND SPIRITUAL FREEDOM Book Talk With Swedish philosopher and author Martin Hägglund

Tue—3-5-2019
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Book Jacket Courtesy of Pantheon; Martin Hagglund, Photo by Alisa Zhulia; Morten Høi Jensen

TUE—March 5—7 PM, free

The book talk will be moderated by Morten Høi Jensen, author of the award-winning biography A Difficult Death: The Life and Work of Jens Peter Jacobsen. Following the discussion, copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

“Martin Hägglund’s This Life is a splendid primer in the importance of authentic freedom.” —Yanis Varoufakis, Former Greek Minister of Finance and bestselling author of Adults in the Room

“This is a rare piece of work, the product of great intellectual strength and moral fortitude. The writing shows extraordinary range and possesses an honesty and fervor which is entirely without cynicism. To my ears, what I hear beneath Hägglund’s affirmation of secular faith and a life-defining commitment is a compelling reworking of the early Heidegger’s existential analytic, especially his understanding of finitude and ecstatic temporality. With the great difference that this is a distinctly leftist project, where secular faith leads to spiritual freedom which is understood as a Hegelian-Marxist affirmation of democratic socialism. But more than that perhaps, Hägglund is a genuine moralist for our times, possessed of an undaunted resoluteness and a fierce commitment to intellectual probity. Maybe he’s the philosophical analogue to Karl Ove Knausgaard.” —Simon Critchley, author of the forthcoming Tragedy, the Greeks, and Us

“A densely argued critique of religion and capitalism… An impassioned and erudite proposal for vast systemic changes.” —Kirkus Reviews  

About the Author

Martin Hägglund is a Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at Yale University. He is also a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, where he was a Junior Fellow (2009-2012). He is the author of three highly acclaimed books and his work has been translated into eight languages. In his native Sweden, he published his first book, Chronophobia (2002), at the age of 25 and he is the recipient of the Swedish Academy’s Schück Prize.

His first book in English, Radical Atheism (2008), was the subject of a conference at Cornell University, a colloquium at Oxford University, and a 250-page special issue of The New Centennial Review, titled Living On: Of Martin Hägglund. His most recent book, Dying for Time: Proust, Woolf, Nabokov (2012), was hailed by the Los Angeles Review of Books as a “revolutionary” achievement. In 2018, he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives in New York City.

About the Moderator

Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, Morten Høi Jensen is the author of the award-winning biography A Difficult Death: The Life and Work of Jens Peter Jacobsen.

He has contributed to The Paris Review Daily, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the New York Review Daily.