Roberto Unger On Revolution

I see Roberto Unger as a great intellectual, engaging and passionate teacher, revolutionary thinker, radical democrat and activist with a clear programmatic vision and sense of direction in which we should develop our humanity, step by step, empowering ourselves through institutional reorganization of society so that we (ordinary people) can rise up “making ourselves more human by making us more godlike”.


The message has been diffused throughout the world, that ordinary men and women are not as ordinary as they seem to be and that there is a vocation for a larger life established in every human being. To solve the fundamental problems of the contemporary societies we need to change institutions. The world remains restless under the dictatorship of no alternatives. But the opportunity to change that is immense.


My theme is the religion of the future. My thesis is that there is now need and occasion for a religious revolution. Tocqueville once remarked that every profound revolution in the history of humanity must be both political and religious. The religious revolution that I want to address in these minutes that I have with you includes a political revolution, but goes beyond it.


For over 200 years the world has been set on fire by a revolutionary message. The message is that every individual human being is divine. That all of us despite the constraints and humiliations that surround us can share in a greater life and share even in the attributes that we ascribe to God. Nevertheless the ordinary experience of human beings remains an experience of belittlement.

Unger’s home page: The work of Roberto Mangabeira Unger


Unger, Roberto Mangabeira. 2009. The Left Alternative. London New York: Verso. (download PDF)

Unger, Roberto Mangabeira. 2014. The Religion of the Future. Cambridge, Massachusetts. London, England: Harvard University Press. (download PDF)

Unger, Roberto Mangabeira and Lee Smolin. 2015. The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time. Cambridge University Press. (download PDF)

In this very clear interview (31 min.) Roberto Unger discusses his and Lee Smolin’s book The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time (click to listen)

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Last update: 31.01.2017