Forever Young: A Cultural History of Longevity from Antiquity to the Present

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9781861891549: Forever Young: A Cultural History of Longevity from Antiquity to the Present
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Forever Young offers a wide-ranging survey of the notion of longevity, from antiquity to the present. The author looks at the many manifestations of one of humanity’s most powerful dreams: the prolongation of life and youth with immortality as a final objective. Using a variety of sources – religion, folk traditions, science, literature and art – the book shows on the one hand the persistence of the human spirit (the desire for longevity is revealed as an extremely stable archetype throughout history) and on the other, the innovations specific to each period or culture due to the progress of science and differing ideologies and attitudes.

Nowadays, prolonging life and youth has become a major goal of society due to a combination of several factors: the spectacular increase in life expectancy; the advances of science and especially genetics; and, finally, the decline of religious belief in life after death, emphasizing the only remaining certainty – corporeal life. The author, a specialist in mythology and imagination, approaches his subject in an accessible and engaging way.

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About the Author:

Lucian Boia is Professor of History at the University of Bucharest, Romania.

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