Toying with God: The World of Religious Games and Dolls

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9781602581814: Toying with God: The World of Religious Games and Dolls

Maybe you have seen the board games. Christianity has Vatican: The Board Game; Journeys of Paul, Armor of God and Divinity (the only game to have the imprimatur of the Catholic Church). Islam and Judaism have Race to the Kabah, Mecca to Medina, Exodus, and Kosherland. Buddhism has Karma Chakra and BuddhaWheel. And then there are the dollsplush and plastic talking Bible dolls, Christian action figures, and talking Muslim dolls that teach Arabic. Have we humans blended fun with spirituality for good or for ill? And what does all of this say about our insatiable need for fun? Written with verve and a healthy dollop of humor, Toying with God examines the sometimes zany world of religious games and dolls, from pre-history to today. Packed with examples that propel the narrative (and add immeasurably to readers knowledge of religious trivia), this is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of popular culture and spirituality.

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From the Inside Flap:

Did you know--

the popular game of Chutes & Ladders is derived from a 13th century game designed by a Tibetan lama?

even though the Muslim doll "Fulla" was designed as an "anti-Barbie" they look almost the same and are manufactured in the same factory in China?

games have been found dating as far back as the 6th millennium BCE? And that the fairies of Irish legend are believed to have played board games?

dolls were entombed in ancient crypts in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and served as companions in the journey to the afterlife?

About the Author:

Nikki Bado-Fralick is Associate Professor and Director of the Religious Studies Program, Iowa State University. She lives in Ames, Iowa. Rebecca Sachs Norris is Associate Professor of Religious and Theological Studies, Merrimack College. She lives in the Boston area.

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