Martin Hägglund's This Life and Marx

Join Historical Materialism and Haymarket Books for a discussion and responses to 'This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom' by Martin Hägglund.


Martin Hägglund’s This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom (2019) sets out a conception of human freedom informed by a deep reading of Marx. With widespread popularity, This Life achieves a level of attention of which most philosophical treatments of Marx could only dream. Given this success, it is not just the presence of Marx in This Life which is interesting. Rather, what is compelling is the erudition of Hägglund’s philosophical approach. With a philosophically rich Marx, Hägglund argues that we can articulate a politics for our time.

In conversation with Hägglund, this panel explores the implications of this philosophical understanding of Marx and human freedom, informed by normative Hegelian philosophy and value-form Marxism.


Martin Hägglund is Birgit Baldwin Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at Yale University. His book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom has been an international best-seller and is the subject of a symposium in Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as a special issue of The Philosopher.

Michael Lazarus teaches Politics and Philosophy at Monash University. His article in Historical Materialism Journal, “The Lives of Marx: Marx’s Philosophy after Pippin, Postone and Hägglund”, will be available online at the event.

Mathew Abbott is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Federation University. Find his article on This Life for Marx and Philosophy Review of Books at https://marxandphilosophy.org.uk/reviews/18002_this-life-secular-faith-and-spiritual-freedom-by-martin-hagglund-reviewed-by-mathew-abbott/

Conall Cash is a PhD candidate in Romance Studies at Cornell University. His article on This Life, “Socialism For Our Time: Freedom, Value, Transition,” published in b2o, can be found here: https://www.boundary2.org/2019/06/conall-cash-socialism-for-our-time-freedom-value-transition-review-of-martin-hagglunds-this-life-secular-faith-and-spiritual-freedom/

Jensen Suther is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at Yale University. He has published in a range of venues on Marxian and Hegelian topics. His response to This Life was published in The Philosopher.


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