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Zondervan Creates New Product Category

Theologian Trading Cards - Thomas Merton

Theologian Trading CardsBaseball players have them so it was only a matter of time. I love it that a company like Zondervan is able to indulge creative types and bring a wild and crazy idea from the conceptual stage to store shelves. An idea like a box containing 288 Theologian Trading Cards. (My wife, a little more skeptical, believes they are the result of someone getting drunk at a pastors’ conference.) The ‘author’ credit for this goes to Norman Jeune III who is the Lead Hospital Chaplain for a children’s hospital in Orange, California.

This is not an “everything you always wanted to know” product. A student will get far more info at Wikipedia. And it’s not a deck — 15 decks actually — of “heroes of the faith.” A great biography doesn’t automatically merit inclusion, but rather a contribution to the various branches of theology.

This is an ideal product for a graduate or current student from a Master’s program at a school of divinity, seminary or Bible college; for anyone else who wants to satisfy their inner church history nerd, or for the pastor who has everything. I’m sure publishers at other companies looked at this and asked, “Whatever were they thinking?” Still, it stands to do better than Zondervan’s direct-to-remainder “Chunky” NIV Bible.

The decks represent different streams of thought, types of approach or in some cases, eras in theological history. From the Munich Monks and Athens Metaphysicians to the St. Pius Cardinals, Geneva Sovereigns and Constantinople Hesychasts one gets a good idea where different figures from ecclesiastical history fit either into the larger time line, or doctrinal groupings. (Did you click that link? See, you’re learning stuff already!)

For the serious student, these serve as a reminder. For the uninitiated, they serve to whet the appetite for reading classic authors. For the critic, your best bet is to consider who was and wasn’t included. For the doctrinally obsessed, you can carry your Ulrich Zwingli card in your wallet or purse. For the person who refuses to read an actual book, this just might work!

Zondervan has created an entirely new product category.  Your challenge as a retailer is to figure out what shelf to put this on. However, nobody is going to find this on their own by browsing online; so here’s a unique product that lets you hand sell the physical product in a physical store.

Cards are not shown actual size.

Theologian Trading Cards - D L Moody

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