Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More Da Vinci Code Stuff

I'm still rather fascinated by the whole Da Vinci Code phenomenon, so I'm reading the news, websites and other blogs to see what others have to say about it. I'm particularly interested in the Christian reaction to it.

From my reading, there seem to be two reactions - strong abhorrence to the book and/or movie and a lighthearted take on what we should all understand is just 'fiction'. Below is an example of the latter sentiment, from the The Grail Code Blog:

The best thing about The Da Vinci Code is that it's getting a lot of people interested in Christian history. You can get a conversation about the Gnostics started in the dentist's office; you can talk with a stranger about Mary Magdalene while you're waiting on the safety island for the streetcar. These things didn't happen before Dan Brown. (That whole article can be found here.)

I agree with the writer of this piece. Prior to the Dan Brown novel, we were not having these conversations, much less even thinking about such things (at least I wasn't). While I have given some time and attention to early Christian history, Dan Brown's novel forced me to re-think my perception of Jesus, the role of women in the early church and my whole concept of sin.

The book did not, however, shake my faith. And I don't believe, in a widely quoted passage from the book that 'everything we had been taught about Christianity is wrong'. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead. I believe that he was the Son of God. So that didn't change upon reading the book.

But it did make me re-think what I thought about Jesus, the workings of the early church and church history as a whole. And the thing to remember (as has often been pointed out) is that the Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction (with some factual content about the Priory of Sion, architecture and art history). (The Catholic Answers website does a really good job of debunking the book in 'Cracking the Da Vinci Code'.) So, ultimately, though I thought the book was a pretty good read (though I liked Dan Brown's book Angels and Demons better), it was just one more good read among many. But, as the Grail Code Blog pointed out, we certainly are having a lot more interesting conversations now!

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