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?