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Religion: A Discovery in Comics

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Dealing with religion often means walking on eggshells - that is what comic artist Margreet de Heer finds out in this book in which she presents the five major religions and modern spirituality in a colorful, personal yet serious manner. She explores religious history and practices with tact and an open mind, but can’t prevent a few eggs from breaking. Why is religion such Dealing with religion often means walking on eggshells - that is what comic artist Margreet de Heer finds out in this book in which she presents the five major religions and modern spirituality in a colorful, personal yet serious manner. She explores religious history and practices with tact and an open mind, but can’t prevent a few eggs from breaking. Why is religion such a sensitive subject? This comic book is fun and informative for believers, non-believers and everyone in between. It offers a fresh look from different perspectives on the phenomenon of religion, the backgrounds and history of the five major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism) and makes the point that religion is something that should unite us, not drive us apart.


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Dealing with religion often means walking on eggshells - that is what comic artist Margreet de Heer finds out in this book in which she presents the five major religions and modern spirituality in a colorful, personal yet serious manner. She explores religious history and practices with tact and an open mind, but can’t prevent a few eggs from breaking. Why is religion such Dealing with religion often means walking on eggshells - that is what comic artist Margreet de Heer finds out in this book in which she presents the five major religions and modern spirituality in a colorful, personal yet serious manner. She explores religious history and practices with tact and an open mind, but can’t prevent a few eggs from breaking. Why is religion such a sensitive subject? This comic book is fun and informative for believers, non-believers and everyone in between. It offers a fresh look from different perspectives on the phenomenon of religion, the backgrounds and history of the five major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism) and makes the point that religion is something that should unite us, not drive us apart.

30 review for Religion: A Discovery in Comics

  1. 4 out of 5

    A. David Lewis

    Disappointingly self-conscious, superficial, and juvenile. Most of the facts are correct, but the aim is scattered and the art is predictable. I had much higher hopes for this rich a synergy of medium and topic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Gordon

    If you're looking for a basic overview of world religions, there are much better books out there. If you are already knowledgeable about religion, this book is too basic for you. I don't really know who this book is for. On top of it's unfathomable audience, the book annoyed me on several levels that I'm going to list because my irritation is too high for proper paragraph format. 1. Heer has obviously encountered some atheists that she's not too fond of. Except instead of giving the movement a c If you're looking for a basic overview of world religions, there are much better books out there. If you are already knowledgeable about religion, this book is too basic for you. I don't really know who this book is for. On top of it's unfathomable audience, the book annoyed me on several levels that I'm going to list because my irritation is too high for proper paragraph format. 1. Heer has obviously encountered some atheists that she's not too fond of. Except instead of giving the movement a careful consideration like she gives the five major religions, she emphasizes that atheists just don't really know what they are talking about, that religion is all about community, and all these modern atheists are just silly. For someone who claims to be an agnostic, she is very flippant towards a large group of people who are more than just the angry, young man internet atheists. Her version of agnosticism might line up well with spirituality, but that's not true for everyone, and assuming her version is the correct version is a treatment she was VERY careful not to apply to the religions she surveyed. Even if this is a personal reflection on religions, her bitterness harmed her book overall. (And yes, she doesn't like extremists either, but at least their religions got a nice, attempting-to-be-neutral exploration) 2. The graphic aspect of this book added little to the content of this book. There were a lot of talking heads or images that didn't really aid in understanding anything. Some of the graphs were useful, but could have been in a text-based book as well. Again, who is this book targeting? 3. At the end of her book, Heer decides to analyse each of the major religions she surveys on their friendliness towards women. She assigns them numerical scores based on I HAVE NO BLOODY CLUE. She pulls numbers out of her ass and undermines her own critiques by presenting them in a way that can't be properly understood by anyone other than herself. 4. Heer's attempts at presenting a personal, but also informative exploration of religion just ends up hopelessly biasing the information she presents, without actually drawing readers in on a personal narrative. She studied religion, so she throws in dates and interesting tidbits about religious history that anyone without some actual training in religions studies is not going to understand. And for religions she's less comfortable with on a theoretical level (basically everything but Christianity and white-person Buddhism), her information is less detailed and, at times, too over simplified to be accurate. 5. There were several significant editing issues where Buddhism and Hinduism were mixed up. Really? REALLY?? No one caught that? All in all, Religion: A Discovery in Comics isn't the worst book, but it's a pretty lazy, badly designed, and confusingly written book. There are plenty of better introductions to world religions or personal explorations of religion. Heer really needed to pick one of the two to focus on.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marylou (As the Page Turns)

    Margreet de Heer is one talented cartoonist: in the form of a comic book, she discusses the five main religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism), adding her personal opinion of course. Describing the story of a religion can be a sensitive subject as it's quite easy to offend people. The artist herself, acknowledges that she has to walk "on eggshells" trying to do this. The cartoons were nicely done, the end result being both cute and funny. Overall, I liked the way this was Margreet de Heer is one talented cartoonist: in the form of a comic book, she discusses the five main religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism), adding her personal opinion of course. Describing the story of a religion can be a sensitive subject as it's quite easy to offend people. The artist herself, acknowledges that she has to walk "on eggshells" trying to do this. The cartoons were nicely done, the end result being both cute and funny. Overall, I liked the way this was presented and I found it quite informative as well.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Raina

    Pretty engaging survey of the "five major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism)." The author was raised by Christians, and talks about how personal religion is and how tricky talking about it can be. And she did a pretty good job, from my perspective (though mine is not that far from hers, so might not be a good standard measure). I learned a few things (standing out is the discussion of what Hinduism is versus Buddhism), and it didn't ping too many of my personal Pretty engaging survey of the "five major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism)." The author was raised by Christians, and talks about how personal religion is and how tricky talking about it can be. And she did a pretty good job, from my perspective (though mine is not that far from hers, so might not be a good standard measure). I learned a few things (standing out is the discussion of what Hinduism is versus Buddhism), and it didn't ping too many of my personal triggers in this area. Appreciated the transparency of approach. Full color, cartoony illustration style, and yes, she does depict a certain prophet.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    Very approachable. Loved the ‘egg device’ to respond to what ‘nay-sayers’ might respond or critique.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Oneirosophos

    A must read by every human on this planet. Could prevent even wars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I've been wanting to learn more about religion in general, and when I came across Religion: A Discovery In Comics, I figured this would be a good place for me to start. There isn't any indication on this book that it is meant for younger readers, but it definitely felt appropriate for young adult, or even middle grade. There is an abundance of exclamation points and story telling aspects that made it seem a bit younger than I expected. The illustrations are cute, and suit the subject. Despite it I've been wanting to learn more about religion in general, and when I came across Religion: A Discovery In Comics, I figured this would be a good place for me to start. There isn't any indication on this book that it is meant for younger readers, but it definitely felt appropriate for young adult, or even middle grade. There is an abundance of exclamation points and story telling aspects that made it seem a bit younger than I expected. The illustrations are cute, and suit the subject. Despite it being a bit younger than expected, I did learn a bit from it, especially in the areas where my knowledge was weaker. The author took more of a personal take on a lot of areas, which was mostly beneficial, but occasionally seemed out of place and unnecessary. I also felt certain aspects seemed overly stereotypical, which I thought was really unfortunate. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for some background information on the major religions. If you're looking for in depth information, information on smaller religions, a purely personal tale, or a purely informational book, there are probably better reads out there for you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy!

    (I'm changing this to an unequivocal 3 stars because I realized that this is a great resource for people just beginning to explore religion, and it would have been a great tool for me before I got a degree in Religious Studies.) This is ... not what I was expecting. de Heer gives readers a very brief introduction to the history of the Big 5 world religions, and while there was some stuff I learned, in general, I think this is more for people who are not familiar at all with religion. As someone w (I'm changing this to an unequivocal 3 stars because I realized that this is a great resource for people just beginning to explore religion, and it would have been a great tool for me before I got a degree in Religious Studies.) This is ... not what I was expecting. de Heer gives readers a very brief introduction to the history of the Big 5 world religions, and while there was some stuff I learned, in general, I think this is more for people who are not familiar at all with religion. As someone who already has a basic understanding of the religions she covered, it was mostly just rehashing what I already know. Also, she just kind of went over the boring parts of religion. I mean, I don't know how could have done it differently, but it just wasn't very interesting to me (as a Religious Studies major). I think I might have liked this more if it were more a narrative about her personal experiences with religion because I found those parts really interesting.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Although this book contains some useful facts concerning the "major" religions (that is, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism), the overall point of this work seems to be the detailing of the author's religious odyssey. She sets out to show that all religions have their good and bad points. In the end, de Heer determines that "there really is no end to the search for religious truth," of which I agree. No matter what religion (or non-religion) you subscribe to, nobody has all the Although this book contains some useful facts concerning the "major" religions (that is, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism), the overall point of this work seems to be the detailing of the author's religious odyssey. She sets out to show that all religions have their good and bad points. In the end, de Heer determines that "there really is no end to the search for religious truth," of which I agree. No matter what religion (or non-religion) you subscribe to, nobody has all the answers, and it's important to continue asking questions. However, I get the impression that de Heer sees religion as a sort of spiritual buffet, picking and choosing the "good" parts and coming up with a personal mish-mash of a belief system.

  10. 4 out of 5

    MJKF

    This is a simple, informative book and great for people just learning about religion. My daughter loved and I was glad it was honest and covered many aspects. The only problem was in the Hinduism chapter at the end. Instead of saying the core of Hinduism it says Buddhism.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Stevens

    I LOVE this book! A concise, thoughtful, entertaining overview of five major religions, with a feminist critique added for good measure. Adorable illustrations. Which major religion has the fewest adherents? Which rates the highest from a feminist perspective? Read this delightful book to find out!

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Downer

    What a great overview/introduction to religion. Read the book in an hour and it touched on multiple aspects of religion and faith, and did not side-step the controversies. Will use this as support material for my World Religions class.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Tillman

    A quick, entertaining read about a touchy subject. I learned more about religion from this book than from books with ten times the pages. It's a simple and fun read and would recommend this book for any parent who wants to explain religions to their kids (I found this book in the Young Adult Graphic Novel section of my library but young children would understand this book). Yes, the author has her interpretations of religion and religious thought but who doesn't? What I like about this book is t A quick, entertaining read about a touchy subject. I learned more about religion from this book than from books with ten times the pages. It's a simple and fun read and would recommend this book for any parent who wants to explain religions to their kids (I found this book in the Young Adult Graphic Novel section of my library but young children would understand this book). Yes, the author has her interpretations of religion and religious thought but who doesn't? What I like about this book is that she has introduced to people and concepts about religion that I never thought of (people I will be reading about: Max Muller, Sir John Woodroffe, Schopenhauer, Hermann Hesse, and his book Siddhanta, Regina Jonas, the first Female Rabbi). So if you are looking for a book to introduce religion to younger minds, I would recommend this one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    When I requested to get this out (from the library), I thought it would have had more pages. Religion is a complex and intriguing aspect of the world we live in and cannot be "discovered" (as it claims in the title) in 119 pages. I did enjoy aspects of this book, particularly the parts where she puts her own theories and personal experiences into perspective. However, I believe it would have made more sense if she had done five books focusing on one religion for each. I nearly did not finish the When I requested to get this out (from the library), I thought it would have had more pages. Religion is a complex and intriguing aspect of the world we live in and cannot be "discovered" (as it claims in the title) in 119 pages. I did enjoy aspects of this book, particularly the parts where she puts her own theories and personal experiences into perspective. However, I believe it would have made more sense if she had done five books focusing on one religion for each. I nearly did not finish the book but I am stubborn. Overall, I would only recommend this book to people who need a quick background on religions before starting an assignment.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Jackson

    De Heer does a good job of explaining in broad strokes five major religions and giving some context to some foundational beliefs. I would highly recommend reading something more substantial to understand the nuance in these religions. This is very, very simplified. I would love to see this same concept done again in a longer format by a more skilled author. But in terms of a refresher to someone who studied world religions, it’s good. The art was not my aesthetic or particularly helpful. It’s a De Heer does a good job of explaining in broad strokes five major religions and giving some context to some foundational beliefs. I would highly recommend reading something more substantial to understand the nuance in these religions. This is very, very simplified. I would love to see this same concept done again in a longer format by a more skilled author. But in terms of a refresher to someone who studied world religions, it’s good. The art was not my aesthetic or particularly helpful. It’s a difficult topic to cover gracefully and she manages to come out the other end relatively safe—for better or worse.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This was an interesting book, although I got lost on some of it. It's a great graphic novel outlining the 5 major religions worldwide. I learned a lot of interesting things that I didn't know before about my own religion. I also learned things about other religions that helped to break some pre-conceived ideas. This was an interesting book, although I got lost on some of it. It's a great graphic novel outlining the 5 major religions worldwide. I learned a lot of interesting things that I didn't know before about my own religion. I also learned things about other religions that helped to break some pre-conceived ideas.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Sutton

    This book was sooo informational and easy to access. I checked this out from the library because it “found” me. The pictures and descriptions are great. I will definitely be buying a copy of this to keep in my personal library for a quick and easy reference.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mollie B

    quick overview of religion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    3.8 stars. would like to keep a copy around for the kids' reference. 3.8 stars. would like to keep a copy around for the kids' reference.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen Holt

    contemporary survey of religions: why we have them differences/similiarities introspective/fun format

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kit

    A great way to gain a basic understanding of other people's beliefs. A great way to gain a basic understanding of other people's beliefs.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Lou

    3.5 Stars

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Loved this book and its light (yet intensive) overview of the five major religions. It definitely stoked my curiosity and provided plenty of names and texts so I can explore on my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brenna

    Relatively unbiased history, Would not suggest for children

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Would make a good intro to religion textbook. The art has quirky charm. The Author's personal history of Buddhism was kind of humorous. Would make a good intro to religion textbook. The art has quirky charm. The Author's personal history of Buddhism was kind of humorous.

  26. 4 out of 5

    wildct2003

    Ok, not as enjoyable as science or philosophy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I like this as a quick overview of world religions but it is highly subjective.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Porter

    Easy summary ; just what I wanted and expected

  29. 5 out of 5

    wvreads

    Nice basic overview, but would prefer an objective presentation.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Other: Graphic novel -type. Explores the confusion of felt by teens when deciding what they believe. and the life style complicated by being married to someone of another religion. More in depth and sophisticated that the medium suggests.

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