by Dan Batovici (PhD candidate in Early Christianity at KU Leuven)
Well, since I have been striving to function within a particular domain, I thought I might as well pick a couple of titles from there, with a cline towards material culture.
The first would be Harry Y. Gamble’s Books and Readers in the Early Church. Despite the persistent focus on early Christianity in more than a century’s research, it is far from clear how, in that context, the circulation of books (or the books themselves, for that matter) might have looked like. The topic itself makes for a good read, and the book puts forward a slightly clearer image of early Christian literacy, books, libraries and their use.
The second would be Roger S. Bagnall’s Early Christian Books in Egypt, which has an even clearer focus on the Christian papyri, and I reckon it is the most prominent recent example of “Classics” scholarship (here papyrology) antagonizing “Theology” scholarship (here New Testament studies) for producing slightly theologized results from the same data (in this case, early Christian papyri).
And finally, for a little bit of angst, just to even things out a bit, fell free to dive in the ever slightly messed-up short stories of Anna Gavalda, I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me. All in good fun.
This post is part of the Guest posts: 3 books that would make a perfect Christmas gift series