British comics creator and school teacher Jason Ramasami (www.saamvisual.com) has created a wordless "Jesus Comic" iApp, retelling the main events of Jesus' life as a memorable educational resource for my students.
A Religious Studies school teacher, Jason, who has been drawing a monthly comic for Christian News Monthly since 2003, released the comic as an iPhone app in December, as a means of trying to distribute it digitally, working with two other people, Tony Waghorn and David Butler, on its development.
"Lots of students have iPod Touches," Jason told downthetubes. "It isn't aimed primarily at a religious audience: it just seeks to encourage greater familiarity with the story of Jesus in a visual way. I don't see it as a substitute for reading the Bible, but as a kick-starter for discussion and a way of involving visual learners.
"My approach in teaching Religious Studies is to ask 'what is your worldview' (hence the website address of one of my sites, www.whatisyourworldview.com) and I try to model an approach of curiosity and investigation with the students, while also encouraging them to develop their own convictions about faith and beliefs.
"I understand that religion tends to be a little polarising and often misunderstood, and I'm well aware of what a minefield this subject matter can be," he adds. "I've worked hard at doing something that was unique to my own vision and that didn't fit in with anyone else's views throughout the project.
"My aim in developing this app (which I hope will be picked up by a publisher at some point) is to encourage students to engage meaningfully with the Jesus-narrative and form their views on something more accurate than second hand opinion.
"The comic runs to 150 'pages' of wordless artwork," he says of the comic itself. "We are anticipating releasing it in several languages.
"It took me about two years to produce while working full time as a school teacher. I use the images in class when I am trying to engage mainly secular students in the Bible narrative. Often this proves more useful because lots of my students are visual learners and they enjoy this approach."
"Each 'chapter' has a Bible reference to establish the context," Jason, who also makes short educational/documentary films about different worldviews to assist his teaching in class, continues. "After that it is up to you to work it out, although the website provides extra clues, and people can always get in touch with me if they are struggling."
The App, available on iTunes for just £1.19, (search for "jesus comic"), also has a companion website (thejesuscomic.com) for people who need more information.
"There is a free sample version that can be downloaded and two chapters to view on the facebook fan page," says Jason. "We also have a twitter news update feed."
• For more about Jason's work visit www.saamvisual.com or www.youtube.com/saamvisual
• Exploring beliefs www.whatisyourworldview.com