Oh, Wretched Mortals!

So, I was checking out the movies opening this weekend, and there was some Italian thing. It didn't seem famliar, but I looked into it and apparently there's a good bit of hype.

Never let it be said that The Hyperion Institute can't jump on the bandwagon (that will be funnier in a moment).

First, I found out that there are many related spin-offs to The Da Vinci Code, and I have decided to bring you the best of them.

Even more exciting, I have thrown together a SholMass article on some of the controversy surrounding the book. (I just made that term up, but it stands for Scholarly for the Masses. In other words, attempting to intelligently talk about a spectrum of topic, but with the understanding that most in the audience won't be famliar with a large percentage.)

Let me just say before the bell rings that if you find being challenged offensive, and you don't like any idea that differs from what you've been taught, you better just skip this article and enjoy the top ten list.

For the rest of you, the printed version (and audio!) can be found here: #391 Oh, Wretched Mortals!

For those of you just not quite intelligent enough to click on link (sadly: over 65% of you), I have the audio version here as well:

Part 1: this is an audio post - click to play

Part 2: this is an audio post - click to play

Part 3: this is an audio post - click to play

Today the much-hyped controversial movie THE DA VINCI CODE comes out.

For the record: I read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code in 2003, when it was already a best-seller, but not the international Force of Nature we’ve seen the last three years. I had previously read most of the books cited by the characters—including the supremely influential Holy Blood Holy Grail, and thus was already familiar with the now famous claims about Jesus.

I did find the novel to be a page-turner, if definitely plot and idea-propelled and decidedly short on mature characterization. It was a fun read, and like many I had that Monteclair Moment when The Last Supper is mentioned. I too got up from my couch and went to the computer and looked at the world’s most famous fresco, only to blink back astonishment as the seemingly preposterous claim appeared genuine. (I later found this not to be the case.)

For the most part, though, I am well versed on the history of Jesus, both as a historical figure and the “tradition” of Jesus that makes up 99% of what the Christian world thinks it knows about him. Because of this, or perhaps simply because of common sense, I didn’t go Ga Ga over the more sensationalist claims. Some were plausible, some were far-fetched, and some were downright silly to anyone who’s a student of this kind of history. If anything, I was impressed that Brown was able to weave enough “fact,” into the narrative that when he veered off into absolute fantasy it seemed plausible. I myself have tried that out with considerably less success.

What I really wish to write on, however, is not Dan Brown or his book, but the chicken-littles on each side.

[For more, see #391 Oh, Wretched Mortals!]

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