Religion and science are often pitted against one another as supposedly irreconcilable foes.
But that isn't the whole picture. In fact, 51 percent of American scientists believe in God or a higher power, and some of the most renowned scientists throughout history have used their research and observations to answer life's biggest philosophical questions. Even Pope Francis has worked to build bridges between science and faith.
Tommaso Todesca, an Italian Catholic with a passion for literature, wants to highlight the more nuanced relationship between the science and religion -- and he's using a graphic novel to do it. Todesca, a banker based in Los Angeles, set up a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project.
The idea for the graphic novel came to him last year when he read an Italian book called Scienza e fede, or Science and Faith, by professors Giuseppe Savagnone and Alfio Briguglia. Todesca initially wanted to translate the book into English, he said, then decided on the comic book format with the hope of reaching an even wider audience.
The "hook of the project," Todesca said, is the message that "science and faith are not in conflict with each other."
"Through the patience of dialogue, science and faith can and should complement each other, and make each other stronger," he told The Huffington Post.
The graphic novel will feature Savagnone and Briguglia -- a philosopher and a physicist, respectively -- as comic book characters who go on a journey that takes them from Rome to Florence to Toulouse, meeting with great scientists and thinkers of the past and the present, including Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler and Thomas Aquinas.
Their dialogue draws from the original book, which Todesca said "makes a compelling case for faith as a type of knowledge that can find its ground in rationality."
Todesca enlisted the talent of U.K.-based artist Harvey Dormer to illustrate the novel, which he said will be about 100 pages long. He hopes to raise $10,000 through his Kickstarter page primarily to compensate Dormer. For himself, he said, "it's a work of pure passion."
Check out some of the graphic novel's initial panels below: