I have started to indicate how I laid out my prospectus for my next book The Triumph of Christianity, as I developed the idea this past summer.  Remember: the prospectus was designed to get a publisher (or hopefully more than one) interested in publishing the book, and was based on, and presupposed, already a good bit of research.   The prospectus was to show what the book was to be about, why it is both interesting and important, and how it would be, tentatively, be laid out.

The qualifier, “tentatively,” is very important.  The book has to cohere from the outset.  But the reality is that as an author does more and more and more research, certain areas of interest emerge more clearly, and the final framing of the book is often quite different from the tentative sketch of the prospectus.  Still, it is important to give a publisher a good sense of what the book will look like – what it will argue and how it will argue it.

In my previous posts I have discussed basically what the book is *about* (how Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman world in less than four centuries, from remarkably inauspicious beginnings) and about how lots of previous scholarship had inadequately dealt with the matter.   In my prospectus I proposed a book comprising five major sections.   Here is what I said about the first section:


  1. The Religious Context of the Ancient World (two chapters)

To make sense of the rise of Christianity…

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