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 ...

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My Memory Book, Ch. 4a

Chapter four of my book, tentatively entitled “False Memories and the Death of Jesus,” is where I address head-on the psychology of memory.   My principal interest, at the end of the day, involves the problems of memory, of how memories for things we experience or hear about can be frail, faulty, and even false.   That’s not to deny that most of the time our memories are pretty decent.   If they weren’t we wouldn’t be able to function, either ...

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Remembering Lincoln

I thought I would take a post to give you a taste of one of my early chapters in my book on Memory.  It is in very rough draft, so don’t expect much.   But this passage deals with the topic of my last post, “collective” memory.   Here I use the example of how we remember, or misremember, the life and views of Abraham Lincoln.

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In 2014 a poll was taken of 162 members of the American Political Science Association, asking them ...

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Different Kinds of Memory

I indicated in the last post that I got interested in the study of memory for both personal and professional reasons.   Professionally, I had long been interested in the question of how eyewitnesses would have remembered the life of Jesus, and how the stories about Jesus may have been shifted and altered and invented in later times based on faulty or even false memories.  That led me to be interested in memory more broadly.

Memory is an enormous field of research, ...

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My Original Interest in Memory

When I decided no longer to do a commentary on the Gospel of Peter and other early Greek Gospel fragments it was not only because I realized that I was not up for two or three years of that particular kind of laborious detailed work.  It was also because there was another area of research that I was really, really interested in but that I knew very little about.  That was the study of memory.

I was interested in memory for ...

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My New Project on Memory

I am going to take a break from my thread that has been dealing with which books from Christian antiquity I would most like to have discovered.  I haven’t gotten very deep into the thread: basically my answers so far have been:  the lost letters of Paul, the letters of Paul’s opponents, and Q.  There are a lot more that I’d like to discuss, and will discuss relatively soon.  But for now I’m going to break off into something else, ...

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