When I set up my Amazon Wish List some months ago, it is primarily meant as a reminder for me keep in touch with some of the latest books in the areas of my interest - whether they will be released or have been published in recent years. It is also a useful tool for me to refer some of these newly published works to my students so that they too are kept updated in their research.
In the last few weeks, I have been blessed by two friends who actually took the trouble to look up my wishlist and bought some books for me. Pearlie bought Ferguson's Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 3rd ed., as a Christmas gift for me. I have always recommended this text in my Introduction to NT class as an excellent tool for those who want to have a good grasp of the backgrounds of early Christianity, and yet I have never owed it before.
EJ ordered Richard Horsley's Religion and Empire for my birthday. What a pleasant surprise (although EJ was a bit worried that it might actually arrive on Valentine's Day, and I might get some wrong ideas!). I am always intrigued by Horsley's insights in his writings, and he has never disappointed me. In this book, Horsley "examines relationships between imperial power and religious life. He describes how ancient and modern empires subjugate peoples by co-opting their local religious practices and attitudes, and he identifies similarities among resistance movements."
Thank you so much, Pearlie and EJ, for the timely gifts.