Last week, The John Templeton Foundation awarded a professor at the University of California, Riverside a $5 million dollar grant to study the afterlife. More specifically, philosopher John Martin Fischer will be looking at “how we view death, what role it plays in our psyches, whether or brains are hard-wired to experience an afterlife.”

This project will be tackled from both a scientific and a sociological approach. Fischer states that this project

stems from the very real boom in interest in human longevity. With experts learning how to replace faulty organs with high-quality ones, the conversation needs to happen at some point: What if we CAN life forever? What role does death, and our concepts of mortality play in our lives?

Read more information about the project here. The Templeton Foundation also funds SSRC program New Directions in the Study of Prayer.