US university given $5 million to research immortality
A private foundation has donated 5 million dollars to the University of California Riverside (UCR) for future research on immortality, according to UCR Today.
The money, the largest grant ever to be given to a humanities scholar at UCR, was given to John Martin Fischer, a professor of philosophy.
The research, dubbed "The Immortality Project,” will focus on “aspects of immortality, including near-death experiences and the impact of belief in an afterlife on human behavior,” UCR Today reported.
Half of the grant will be spent directly on research projects while other expenses will include two conferences on the subject and several side projects such as websites and glossaries.
"Much of the discussion [on immortality and the afterlife] has been in literature," Fischer was quoted as saying. "No one has taken a comprehensive and sustained look at immortality that brings together science, theology and philosophy.”
Near-death experiences and other such claims regarding the moment of death, or the afterlife, will be studies in depth to structure a better understanding of the phenomenon. The project will also study different cultures' views on life after death.
The research is set to last three years.
The John Templeton Foundation's mission is defined by the foundation as "a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality." The foundation supports research focusing on a variety of subjects that include complexity, infinity and free will, according to the foundation's website.