A Universe of Terms
Religion in Visual Metaphor
Published by: Indiana University Press
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.
Indiana University Press is proud to present an open access edition of this work: https://publish.iupress.indiana.edu/projects/universe-of-terms/resource/a-universe-of-terms. (This book is intended to be viewed as a double-page layout. For optimal viewing, we recommend opening the document in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If opening the document in a different program, adjust your settings to allow for double-page viewing.)
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
"Mona Oraby and Emilie Flamme's A Universe of Terms: Religion in Visual Metaphor is a wonderful book to experience and a difficult book to review. Much of what makes this book so engaging, thought-provoking, and beautiful stems from the reader's own experience of interacting with the thoughtful juxtapositions of text, images, and design in the book itself. In this case, the medium really is the message. It is impossible to obtain a full sense of any book from a review, but because the experiential aspect is such a key feature of this particular book, A Universe of Terms really must be read, engaged with, and enjoyed."~Ian Alexander Cuthbertson - Dawson College, Reading Religion
Indiana University Press is proud to present an open access edition of this work: https://publish.iupress.indiana.edu/projects/universe-of-terms/resource/a-universe-of-terms. This book is intended to be viewed as a double-page layout. For optimal viewing, we recommend opening the document in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If opening the document in a different program, adjust your settings to allow for double-page viewing.
For more information about the series editors, visit: https://crh.indiana.edu
Publishers Weekly feature: Illustration Meets the Ivory Tower: PW Talks with Mona Oraby