Thursday, April 27, 2006

The DVC at BC

Last night I went with some of the other sisters to an excellent talk that was given at Boston College on the DaVinci Code. It was by a Professor Attridge from Yale, who specializes in Biblical studies and ancient texts. He recounted how he became aware of the DVC when he got a call from a group in Greenwich, Ct, who was looking for a speaker. He told them he usually speaks on topics like the Nag Hammadi texts, Gnostic Gospels, etc. They weren't interested in that but asked, "What about something exciting like---the Da Vinci Code!"

He gave a great talk on the claims made by the novel, like the claim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalen and their bloodline still exists in the mysterious Priory of Sion, etc. In debunking it, he was so gracious and scholarly but at times just had to say that Brown's claims are "arrant nonsense."
Just one small point: the book claims that the name "Mona Lisa" is actually drawn from goddess worship. But Attridge said that Da Vinci's painting was called "La Gioconda," and the name "Mona Lisa" wasn't given it until a century later.

This article by Sandra Miesel has a lot more details.

Why is the DVC so popular? I think one reason is that it presents a philosophy of life that doesn't make any moral demands on anyone. If we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have to live by the moral demands of the Gospel: love God and our neighbor, self-sacrificing love, lives of integrity, justice and truth. Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow him. Quite different from the curiosity of a conspiracy theory that doesn't call us to conversion.

What do you think?


Kitty said...

I think you're right, Sister. DVC shows a picture of a false Jesus. I think people may be looking for an "easy" way to Heaven, as if they could trick God by saying, "But I DO believe in Jesus!" Unfortunately for them, only one Jesus can save! The rest can't save, because they do not exist! How sad for them when they hear Him say, "Get out of My sight, for I do not know you." Scary thought!

I just finished reading a book called The Saints' Guide to Knowing the Real Jesus by David Mills It is basically an introduction to the Church Fathers, and explains why the Early Christians were so fastidious about saying "the right words" about Jesus. DVC definitely does NOT say the right words about Jesus.

By the way, my real name is Paula. Sr. Elizabeth won't know who you're talking about if you say you've met "Kitty!" ;)

Moneybags said...

I think you're absolutely right - people will believe anything as long as it doesn't require anything on their part. I'm planning on posting and doing a lot to help souls when the Da Vinci Code opens in theaters. I'll be praying a lot that day for souls not to be lead astray by the heresy of Dan Brown.

Anonymous said...

I think the popularity of the DVC comes from a couple different sources... people's love of a good conspiracy theory and their general disappointment with the Church and its policies. We have an historical mistrust of authority figures of all kinds and the Church has done its part to earn a certain amount of mistrust.

dennis said...

I have never read the book, nor do I intend to. I do believe that the book, while it is fiction, follows the unfortunate pattern we are seeing in other areas that tends to try and discredit and/or suppress people's ability to express their faith and their belief in who Jesus was, and what he means to us today. While I don't know what the intentions were of the author, I do feel that buying the book or attending the movie in a way supports that effort so I have no interest at this point.

Bender said...

Why is the DVC so popular?

In a word? Anti-Catholicism. It is popular because it is an attack on the Church. People are even willing to overlook the blatent blasphemies and heresies and other lies because it portrays the Church, historically and today, as a bunch of lying, murderous thugs.

Now, I'm sure that some folks were drawn to the mystery and thriller aspects, but the anti-Catholicism of the book and movie cannot be avoided. No doubt some people did like the mystery and thriller aspects, but no doubt some people also read Playboy and Hustler for the articles, and some people watch black-face minstral shows for the song and dance.