Originally appeared in Dutch with the title Religie in Beeld, in 2011 at Uitgeverij Meinema.
Margreet chooses the personal approach, and starts with drawing her own religious background as the daughter of a clergyman (and clergywoman!) and as a student of theology.
She then describes the three main Western religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam – three systems of belief that have more in common than not:
The history of the great religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, is related In compact “nutshell”-pages, followed by overviews of their respective holy books, places and rituals.
At the end of the book, attention is paid to the scientific look on religion and the modern research into the religious experience:
This book is fun and instructive for believers as well as non-believers from all ages and backgrounds. It is particularly useful in religious education for teenagers 12 years and older. The book does not propagate one religious view, but challenges the reader to examine his or her own faith.
About the author
Margreet de Heer (1972) grew up in a family of theologians who encouraged questions and debate. She studied theology herself at the University of Amsterdam where she graduated in 1999. After this, she decided to become a comic artist. She got a job in comic store Lambiek (where she worked on a book about Dutch comics, together with Kees Kousemaker) while working on her production and skills as a graphic novelist, and in 2005 she was able to quit her job and become a full-time artist. Her comics range from kids’ comics for magazines like Flo’, Yes and Jippo, to cartoons made on location at business congresses, to newspaper comics for NRC.Next and Trouw. For the latter she made monthly “comic reports” about philosophical and spiritual subjects, between 2007 and 2011.
These comic reports caught the attention of publishing house Meinema, who asked her to draw a comic book on philosophy, which was published as Filosofie in Beeld in The Netherlands in 2010 and in 2012 in the U.S. as Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics through NBM Publishing. The philosophy book was a success, and in 2011 Margreet’s book about religion appeared as Religie in Beeld. In 2012 followed a book on science, Wetenschappen in Beeld, which appeared (as the second book in the series) at NBM as Science: a Discovery in Comics. In Fall 2015 the book about religion appears at NBM (as the third book in the U.S.) with the title Religion: a Discovery in Comics.
The Discovery in Comics series has found international acclaim through publications in the U.S., Brasil and Korea. Margreet and her husband and colorist Yiri T. Kohl have also made a fourth book, about World Domination, which was published in The Netherlands in the Fall of 2015; and a fifth book, about Love (2017)
“Outstanding Dutch comics artist de Heer follows her previous books in the Discovery series on philosophy and science with this lively, intelligent survey of the world’s major religions.”
– Publisher’s Weekly
“As with the earlier volumes, de Heer cartoons in an accessible friendly style that is imminently readable and takes no sides.”
– by Bill Sherman on BlogCritics.com
The Dutch version of this book was nominated for the Belgian Spiritual Book Prize, and won a Special Mention.
The book was included on USBBY’s “Outstanding International Books” list in 2016