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The Religion of the Future

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  9 reviews
How can we live in such a way that we die only once? How can we organize a society that gives us a better chance to be fully alive? How can we reinvent religion so that it liberates us instead of consoling us?

These questions stand at the center of Roberto Mangabeira Unger's The Religion of the Future. Both a book about religion and a religious work in its own right, it pro
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published January 7th 2021 by Harvard (first published April 8th 2014)
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Valentina Salvatierra
I’m glad to have read this book, but I’m also glad that it’s over. By the end, its central points had become repetitive (although pedagogically it was a great strategy, because I feel like I really internalized them), its ponderous tone annoying, and its vagueness in examples deeply frustrating.

An important first thing to clarify about this book is that it isn’t “religious” in the way religion is usually understood, as belief in a certain divinity and belonging to an institution or at least comm
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: meta, theology, soul
The first couple of chapters still represent some of the best attempts at articulating the liveliness that comes from taking this fleshy, mortal world as the point of reference for all my hopes, desires and longings. There's a real chance of coming alive when relating to my own mortality, the insatiableness of my desires and the groundless of my being, like Mangabeira Unger wonderfully describes it.

These topics are the main take-aways from this book. The chapters on the three world-religions are
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm going to be straight with you. I clicked "I'm finished" not because I'd read it from cover to cover but because the read was dense and dry and so hard to stay engaged with. Unger has some interesting enough ideas but I would have loved if he explained further the conclusions he jumped to even on the principles of "human defects" that he starts the book with. Maybe one day I'll return to this and finish but for now there are just too many other more interesting opinions to read that offer a d ...more
Nick Buck
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant. Unger sometimes blurred the line between accident and necessity, and he wasn't relational enough for me, but his analysis of different religions and contributions to political theory are profound. Definitely one of the best books I've read in a while. ...more
Elizabeth Pyjov
"Our desires are insatiable. We seek from the limited the unlimited. We must fail. Our insatiability is a third incurable defect in human life.
Our insatiability is rooted in our natural constitution. Human desires are indeterminate. They fail to exhibit the targeted and scripted quality of desire among other animals. Even when, as in addiction and obsession, they fix on particular objects, we make those particular objects serve as proxies for longings to which they have a loose or arbitrary rela
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
It is not enough to cooperate; it is necessary to innovate.

So, let’s do away with the humanization of society — the improvement of an order that we feel powerless to reimagine or to remake, let’s opt for the divinization of humanity, the increase of our share in the attributes that we ascribe to divinity.
adherents of the religion of the future will :

exhibit democratic-socialist tendencies, refuse repetitive work (that's for machines), be creative (god's work), open themselves to love, embrace death in order to live (you only die once)

im probably damned, anyway
Jun 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Review to appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. This is my opening paragraph:
The Religion of the Future is an extended manifesto for Roberto Mangabeira Unger’s version of prophetic pragmatism. It urges a new, revolutionary transformation of human life supported by an (a)theology of Godless divinization. The heralded revolution deepens and extends transformations of the past, although Unger maintains that prevailing theses about the nature and significance of the so-called Ax
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Roberto Mangabeira Unger (born 24 March 1947) is a philosopher and politician. He has written notable works including Politics: A Work In Constructive Social Theory and The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time. He has developed his views and positions across many fields, including social, and political, and economic theory. In legal theory, he is best known for his work in the 1970s-1990s whi ...more

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95 likes · 10 comments
“The combination of our mortality with our groundlessness imparts to human life its pressing and enigmatic character. We struggle to in our brief time in the midst of an impenetrable darkness. A small area is lighted up: our civilizations, our sciences, our loves. We prove unable to define the place of the lighted area within a larger space devoid of light, and must go to our deaths unenlightened.” 4 likes
“The embodied self is the same person who woke to the world in a burst of visonary immediacy, who soon found that he was not the center of that world but on the contrary, a dependent and even hapless creature, and who then discovered that he was doomed to die” 2 likes
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