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Religion and the Philosophy of Life$
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Gavin Flood

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198836124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198836124.001.0001

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Bare Life and the Resurrection of the Body

Bare Life and the Resurrection of the Body

(p.344) 10 Bare Life and the Resurrection of the Body
Religion and the Philosophy of Life

Gavin Flood

Oxford University Press

Vital materialism imbues life with positive value and interfaces with environmentalism. But there is another kind of vitalism in which the political colonizes life in a way that brings into question the value of life itself and brings life into proximity with nihilism. We might call this a dark vitalism, which we see emerging in the European body politic in the twentieth century. While this stream of thought can be read as an attempt to heal the past through creating a utopian and messianic future, it nevertheless negates the values of life and undermines its healing project because fundamentally locked into a form of nihilism, thereby negating life-affirming values. By contrast, spiritual philosophies of life offer a counter-narrative to the dark vitalism that has held such a grip on nations in the last hundred years.

Keywords:   materialism, vitalism, bare life, political theology, environmentalism

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