My Research Goals for 2019

I occasionally get asked what I’m “working on,” and it seems like January 1 is a good time to lay out my research goals/directions for the year.  As some of you know, a couple of years ago I decided to cut back and become less busy with research.  That lasted a couple of months.  But, well, it was a *nice* couple of months.  Now I’m back in over my head – but enjoying that immensely as well. I have four major research goals (at this point) for the coming year. Finish The Invention of the Afterlife. This is the trade book (that a few of you have read in draft!) that deals with the question of where the ideas of heaven and hell came from.  As I’ve mentioned before, 72% of Americans believe that there is a literal heaven, a place for blessed souls after death, and 58% in a literal hell, a place of torment for sinners.   The thesis of this book is that heaven and hell – as places of eternal reward and [...]