The Denial of Death is one of the twentieth-century’s great works. It is also winner of the 1974 Pulitzer Prize and the culmination of Ernest Becker’s life’s work. In it Becker passionately seeks to understand the basis of human existence.

Drawing together an array of fields, from psychology and philosophy, to religion and the human sciences, Becker makes an argument that the denial of man’s mortality is central to human existence. In doing so he sheds new light on humanity and the meaning of life itself.

Becker views human civilisation and achievement as an attempt to transcend a sense of mortality as mankind seeks heroic acts. He sees a sense of heroism as the central fact of human nature. To be heroic is to become part of something eternal; even though the physical body will die, heroism can give life meaning and significance.

In the modern world much conflict between religions, nations and ideologies are the result of immortality projects. Attempt to create something eternal.

In the end, despite the books difficult premise, Becker looks for new and more convincing immortality projects that can restore the heroic sense, as well as bringing about a better world.

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