Forever Young

A Cultural History of Longevity from Antiquity to the Present

Lucian Boia

Forever Young
Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

Lucian Boia

Distributed for Reaktion Books

256 pages | 5.5 x 8.5
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9781861891549 Published April 2004 For sale in North and South America only
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.
1. Original Perfection
2. By the Grace of God
3. The Body Strikes Back
4. Reason Works Miracles
5. The Age of the Scientific Utopia
6. Longevity in a Time of Ideologies
7. The Religion of Health
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