I’ll Wait For…the Book

100 days from now, The Da Vinci Code, the movie based on Dan Brown’s popular book with the same title, will be in theaters. I have yet to read that novel, making me one of the few in the world who has not. Perhaps over Spring Break, I will get a chance to do that.

For those who have (and have not) read the book, will you want to see the upcoming movie?

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “I’ll Wait For…the Book

  1. I was in the Louvre the other day, just under the pyramid and I was imagining Tom Hanks standing at the same exact spot. Anyway, my answer is yes, for the following reasons:

    -because it will be good for once to see a franco-american cooperation that is not my own marriage (Dawn, I love you)
    -because I have done quite a few conferences to examine the claims of the book concerning Jesus and the history of early christianity, and I need to know what will be said in the movie.

    I do not expect the movie to be as polemical as the book though. Most of Dan Brown’s “challenges” to christianity come in rather long dialogues in the book, and that form of speech does not fit with an action movie. We’ll see.

  2. I think I will actually like the movie a lot more than the book. I enjoyed reading the book, except for the anti-Christian garbage, of course. History, travel, mystery, Paris and London all kept my attention, and there is a reason why people say once yous start reading you can’t put it down.

  3. I felt the same way, actually. It’s not a well-written book, but it’s a page-turner. There’s a “hook” at the end of each chapter and you WANT to know what’s going to happen. Also, Brown used very wisely some elements of our collective imagination: esoteric mystery, Templars and secret societies, conspiracy, symbolism, secrets…No wonder it was such a huge success: he gave people exactly what they want.
    There was a movie magazine here that published recently pictures of the making of the film. I did not buy it, just saw the cover: I had pictured myself Langdon with a different style.

  4. I’d be curious to see it, although I’ll probably wait till it comes out on video. I read the book and found it not only loaded with historical howlers but badly written as well. The movie is being made by people who really KNOW their craft, so it may be able to overcome at least the literary badness of the book.

  5. Based on the reviews I’ve scanned, I probably won’t read the book. But I may watch the movie. I’m sure the cinematography will be good.

    What disturbs me most about this book is that people here in the U.S. embrace this book as a factual reflection of Jesus and Christianity. And then use it to propagate arguments against the legitimacy of Christian religous thought.

    I suppose I could let myself becomd insanely offended and go burn down and embassy in protest.

  6. I have, as of late, found the book to an opportunity rather than a challenge. I think that the movie may allow for similar discussion.

    I have found it useful to simply agree with people who challenge you with the _Da Vinci Code_.

    “Yeah, I know. There are so many ancient ‘Christian’ writings. How could we possibly know what’s right?”

    This opens the door for a discussion on the canon and the person of Christ. Ironically, the _Da Vinci Code_ may be a great tool for the non-Fundamentalist conservative Christian to speak about how Christians ought to view the Scriptures and Christianity.

    Then casually mention during the conversation that Da Vinci Code is based on the same ideas as the 1982 book _Holy Blood, Holy Grail_, and that the “facts” have been shown to be a hoax.

    The people with whom I’ve spoken in this way have been so surprised that you’re not getting defensive that they actually listen.

    R. Contra Mundum

  7. I’ll probably see it. Primarily because I find heretical semi-theological thrillers entertaining (ie Constantine or the Exorcist movies) and also because I really don’t want to read the book.

    and my email is still comming up as spam… any idea about that?

  8. “Ironically, the _Da Vinci Code_ may be a great tool for the non-Fundamentalist conservative Christian to speak about how Christians ought to view the Scriptures and Christianity. ”

    Very true, my dear Athanasian friend. Besides, have you noticed that Brown basically has an “Anabaptist” view of history? Constantine corrupted the Church, European Christendom was no real Christianity…excuse me, but that’s what my Baptist friends say quite frequently!!

  9. Interesting perspective Contra. My interest in the movie has just gone up.

    But I think your perspective would be better realized by reading the book. Problem is that most people do not have your understanding of the history and the “facts”.

    A review or primer from someone with your background would be most beneficial to us novices.

  10. I mean that your perspective would be better realized by [me] if [I] read the book. I didn’t make this distinction clearly the first time.

  11. There is a scene in the book depicting a Satanic ritual where (if I remember correctly) very aged people are engaging in ritualistic sex. Hollywood being what it is, I can foresee that being given extra attention to spice up a rather sex-less book.

    Do we need to see that?

  12. “There is a scene in the book depicting a Satanic ritual where (if I remember correctly) very aged people are engaging in ritualistic sex.”

    The scene you are referring to wasn’t a Satanic ritual. Brown alleges that ancient Jews and “priestesses” engaged in these rituals in Solomon’s Temple and worshiped a Goddess called Shekinah. This sort of ritual is what the characters are engaged in. He says that “mankind’s use of sex to commune directly with God posed a serious threat to the Catholic power base,” and this is why the Church had to “demonize sex” (309).

    As far as whether we need to see this sort of thing, I really think distasteful sex scenes would be the least of our concerns with this story.

  13. tutal,
    Can’t find anything wrong with your address in the database. The only thing I can think is that I accidentally blocked m$n.com addresses at one point. But I’ll keep checking. [Ha, it wouldn’t let me post this with that domain in my comment!]

    Tim

  14. From a Christian point of view, there are three huge challenges in the book. I’ve called those three affirmations “hte codes in the Code”. Basically, Brown says:
    -that Jesus and Mary of Magdala had children(who became the ancestors of the Frankish Kings)
    -that Jesus was not seen as divine before the 325 council of Nicea
    -that the most reliable manuscripts concerning Jesus have been destroyed or hidden.

    Nothing under the sun. The Da Vinci Code is basically that: the widespread (worldwide) circulation of ideas that have been around for decades! But, again, it raised questions in the minds of many and allowed us to clarify those issues with them. Thank you Mr. Brown!!

  15. “The scene you are referring to wasn’t a Satanic ritual. Brown alleges that ancient Jews and “priestesses” engaged in these rituals in Solomon’s Temple and worshiped a Goddess called Shekinah.”

    Okay… I can’t resist biting on this one:

    Whatever they where “communicating with” during sex in the temple… it wasn’t God at the other end.

    I assert that it is very much a Satanic ritual, by default if not by direct purpose. Anyone not worshiping God directly and correctly is worshiping some kind of satanic influence.

    The fact that they did so in Solomon’s Temple does not mean that this was Part of Jewish worship of God. In fact, I find this ideal incredibly offensive. All this means that many Jews of the time did indeed worshipped idols and embraced the occult, and blasphemed God in His own temple, which is even more offensive.

  16. Actually, many Jews have worshipped idols in the course of history and some of them blasphemed God in his Temple!! Just look at the Bible.
    Anyway, I’ll have to check, but I do not recall the “sex-scene” to occur in Solomon’s Temple. It is a very brief description of a contemporary ritual and it is not what bothered me the most in the book. I do not expect the mvie to be loaded with sex: it is not at all the book’s atmosphere. Maybe they will add more romance between Langdon and Sophie Neveu, but that’s all.

  17. The fact they did many weird things in God’s very Temple is the opitome of blasphemy. They knew very well they were not worshiping the God of Abraham. From my perspective a Messianic Gentile and follower of Jesus the Christ, it makes my stomach churn.

    If this is what the movie and book profess, then I have no interest in either one.

    Even in Jesus’ day, people occupied the Temple grounds for purposes other than worship to the God of Abraham. And Jesus chased them out in very righteous and justifiable indignation. And is this then, maybe, how we should approach this book and movie?

  18. The sex scence between Brown’s characters didn’t take place in Solomon’s Temple – Brown alleges that such rituals took place there historically, and as the characters are members of a secret society that ascribes to those practices, they perform the rituals in the story.

    Lawrence, by your own admission you have not read this book. Your arguments against it are Biblically based, but the book doesn’t recognize the Bible as an authority. It is based on the premise that the Christian faith is a myth perpetrated by the Catholic Church. It is a very blatant and direct attack on our faith. I don’t think it is necessary for us to twist an already twisted story by referring to it as “Satanic.” We need to look at the bigger picture of what this story is saying – we needn’t be focusing on the minor details of one unattractive sex scene.

  19. Thanks for the clarification, Mary. Your arguments make very good sense.

    It’s just the old backwards argument that Catholics “created” Christianity. Another reason for me to not bother with the book.

    I do think it wise to remember that these bogus arguments regarding past occult practices of the Jews where not part of early Jew-Hebrew worship of the God of Abraham. Another tired ani-Christian argument I get hammered with regularly from people desperately looking for ways to mock and ridicule Christ and Christianity.

  20. FYI: Just for context. I consider myself a Lay-scholar in theology… sort of. Mostly because I work at a self-identified Liberal public Univeristy, with Chancellor who openly embraces both evolution and religion in equal context. And I really have to “know my stuff” to keep my sanity here sometimes.

    In may ways I’ve become sensitized to all the non-sensical arguments against Christ, Christianity, Intelligent Design theories, and Bible secret code theories.

    Books and movies like this come out and it is sometimes just enough to push me over the edge…
    😉

  21. “It’s just the old backwards argument that Catholics “created” Christianity. Another reason for me to not bother with the book.”

    Well, I think we did, sort of, although not the way Brown claims. 🙂

    What gets me is that all of the blame for traditional Christianity is lumped onto Constantine, but Brown completely ignores the fact that Christianity maintained the same doctrines and traditions in places like India and Ethiopia, neither of which was ever under Roman control. He also completely ignores the Eastern Orthodox in his “history” of Christianity, much like the more fanciful Fundamentalist histories (Trail of Blood and the like).

  22. “He also completely ignores the Eastern Orthodox in his “history” of Christianity, much like the more fanciful Fundamentalist histories (Trail of Blood and the like”

    Well, like many Fundamentalists, Brown describes Western Christianity as a Roman corruption. What an unholy alliance against the historic Church!! In Europe, we say that extremes always meet. Is it a new proof of that?

  23. “Well, I think we did, sort of, although not the way Brown claims. :)”

    I always argued it is Jesus and the 12 Disciples, and Apostles, etc. that got the ball rolling. Before Roman Catholics and Lutherans where even a twinkle in anyone’s eye…
    🙂

  24. Very true, Lawrence. You and I have different ideas of what the early Church looked like, but I think we can agree that it didn’t look like Brown’s vision of it. 🙂

  25. Joel, I’m not so sure your ideas about the early church are all that different from mine. Although we may explain it a bit differently with regards to the limitations of this type of forum.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s