Why should you care about The Da Vinci Code? It's only a novel!


#1

I have just read the article on The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and I have to say that the Church seems very flustered about that book.

Surely the Church has nothing to fear from a work of fiction, no matter what the view of the author?


#2

[quote=buttso]I have just read the article on The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and I have to say that the Church seems very flustered about that book.
[/quote]

Actually, the Church as an institution has had no comment, one way or the other, on The Da Vinci Code. The book has not been placed by the Vatican on any “forbidden books” list, or had any “official” sanctions placed on it. Those who are concerned are faithful Catholics, clerical and lay, who have seen the book confuse Catholics and other Christians as to the character of people in the early Church, the relationship of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, and orthodox Christian doctrine.

[quote=buttso]Surely the Church has nothing to fear from a work of fiction, no matter what the view of the author?
[/quote]

First of all, the author Dan Brown has touted this book as the fruit of factual research. He opens the novel with a “Fact” page that purports to be giving people unvarnished truth. In other words, he wants people to believe that his conclusions in the novel are true.

Secondly, even had Brown not advertised his book to reveal hidden “truths” about Christianity, the device of fiction does not grant authors the right to disseminate historical untruths. Analogously, a novel that purported to reveal that the Holocaust never happened and that Adolf Hitler was a great guy after all would be quite properly thrashed by people of goodwill everywhere as anti-Semitic agitprop. Indeed, in this day and age, such a book would likely never see publication, at least in mainstream publication circles. If such a book as that could not be defended with the disclaimer “It’s only a novel!” then other books that disseminate historical untruths also cannot be defended as “only fiction.”


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