Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: From Manga to Eastern Orthodoxy

As Kermit the Frog so famously put it, “It’s not easy being green.”  Likewise, it’s not easy being a Christian who likes anime.  I’m not saying at all that Christian anime fans endure any type of suffering – that’s both shallow and ignorant.  However, many Christians struggle with joining their love of the medium with a belief that often runs counter to the ideas expressed in it.

At the same time, anime in manga can express spiritual truths, whether or not those were the intentions.  This blog provides ample support for that.  Spiritual ideals can be found in just about anything.  I have a friend (currently attending seminary) who claims to have found God through Metallica; he is especially proud of this point.

Likewise, I ran across a most interesting post, dated 2009, written by Ed Sizemore of Manga Out Loud, who moved from the Evangelical tradition to the Eastern Orthodox one.  His assertion is that anime and manga helped change his thinking.  Take a look at his entry, which not only bridges anime with spirituality, but makes some very interesting, yet sensitive, critiques about modern Evangelical practice and culture.

An Eddy of Thought: How Anime & Manga Helped Me Become Eastern Orthodox.


4 thoughts on “Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: From Manga to Eastern Orthodoxy

  1. Interesting. I never thought about Orthodox as not being coloured by the predominant American culture. I am ashamed to say that I do not know very much about Orthodox churches and their beliefs, but this is fascinating to learn about.

    1. Likewise, I don’t know much about Orthodox churches, particularly in the west. Almost everything I know is about Coptic churches in Egypt, a few of which I’ve visited.

  2. It seems like my thinking has a lot in common with Ed’s. I too know embarrassingly little about the Orthodox churches, but maybe I should look into them further….

  3. I should warn people. While Orthodoxy isn’t steeped in American culture, it can be deeply saturated in cultures. Depending on the church, you can have an Orthodoxy that is very Greek, Russian, Romanian, etc. There is a Greek Orthodox Church here in Richmond, VA that does ½ the service in English and ½ the service in Greek. I don’t want to present the Orthodox Church as being perfect and pure. As all human institutions, it has its flaws too.

    For those interested, the best introduction Orthodoxy is The Orthodox Church by Bishop Kallistos Ware. Then follow that up with his book, The Orthodox Way. Another good book is The Mystery of Faith: An Introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church by Hilarion Alfeyev (This has the best chapter on marriage I’ve ever read.) Finally, a great book on icons, and interestingly enough not by an orthodox author, is Ponder These Things: Praying with Icons of the Virgin by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

    I’m still learning myself, but I’d be glad to answer any questions you have.

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