A Universe of Terms
Religion in Visual Metaphor
Religion and the Human
Published by: Indiana University Press
194 pages, 178.00 x 254.00 mm, 97 color illus.
- ISBN: 9780253064172
- Published: November 2022
How can we foster a more inclusive, responsible, and communicative future? What if illustrated scholarship is one way to get there?
Organized around eight terms in the study of religion, the groundbreaking, multifaceted book A Universe of Terms: Religion in Visual Metaphor combines text and image to examine the human as both catalyst of crisis and principal agent for its mitigation. Mona Oraby and Emilie Flamme—a professor and an illustrator—were spurred to create an alternative form for scholarly communication, one that stages conversations between thinkers who likely would not all find themselves in the same room. This graphic nonfiction book acknowledges the significance of certain terms to the social sciences and the humanities, narrates their limitations, and shows why we need a structure and style for thinking them otherwise. It further urges the iterative rethinking of any new terms this exercise yields. Through its unique visual lexicon, A Universe of Terms explores religious media in postcolonial and secular contexts, performances of religious feeling, the political economy of religion, sacred presence, and human striving amid social inequality and climate change.
Beautifully illustrated and inspired by a range of media from graphic novels to podcasts, A Universe of Terms is a visual experiment, one that invites readers to think again and anew about how the visual is integral to thought.
Note on Quotations
Table of Terms
In this genre-bending work of art, words and images morph in ways that free the reader's imagination to think and write differently. Mona Oraby, Emilie Flamme, and their ghostwriters create the kind of visionary experimentation and innovation that are sorely lacking, but very much needed both within and beyond the academy today.~Mark C. Taylor, Columbia University
Oraby and Flamme invite readers into an impressive, courageous, and innovative experiment in communicative arts, an interpretive work of political action, a wager at broader engagement for important ideas raised in expertly curated words and equally scintillating images. A Universe of Terms ushers into perceptible shape a series of interconnected propositions; it threads these together to create space for expansive imaginings. This hefty contribution is a brilliant object for study and thought.~Sally M. Promey, Yale University
A Universe of Terms encourages readers to reconsider the conventions that have served to inform what we see and how we communicate the social sciences and humanities. And, in the process, it supports new and unconventional ways of thinking, communicating, and engaging. This is a creative and important project that opens much needed space for reimagining academic language and knowledge.~Anthony B. Pinn, author of Interplay of Things: Religion, Art, and Presence Together