Do I Have the Expertise Needed for My Book?
QUESTION: You have criticized other scholars for writing on subjects outside their fields of expertise – Reza Aslan, for instance, for his book on the historical Jesus when he is a sociologist, not a historian of religion. Have you considered editing a work with experts in the various fields that speak to the eyewitness to tradition to textual pipeline? Would such a collaboration likely be any more informative to a general audience? RESPONSE: Ah, great question! I’m going to answer what I take to be the underlying issue: why am I not following my own advice, but am publishing a book (next month!) that involves expertise other than my own? (In answer to the specific question: no, I haven’t really thought about editing a volume of other experts on memory! I have so many projects of my own that I have to do that… I haven’t even considered it, I’m afraid. There’s simply not enough time in life!) As to what I take to be the underlying issue: My criticism of Aslan was [...]