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The sentence is


If I understand correctly, the sentence can be simplified to

現代ほど難しい時代はない (There is no time period as difficult as now)

The entire sentence tells you that the difficult thing is building one's own independence and values, but I don't understand how the のに is supposed to fit grammatically in there. My best guess is that the middle part is somehow an adverb modifying 難しい

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

This のに means "to" or "in order to".

The の nominalizes the verb 築き上げる.

~~に means "to do ~~" or "for doing ~~".

You are right; The whole middle part modifies 難しい.

"There has never been a more difficult time than the present time for building one's own identity and sense of values."

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what is the difference between ~するために and ~するのに? – 無色受想行識 Dec 23 '13 at 3:33

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