October 21, 2004

The Da Vinci Code

Posted at October 21, 2004 11:48 AM in Spirituality .
An interesting review from the Village Voice on why The Da Vinci Code seems to strike a nerve with many people. (http://www.villagevoice.com/vls/182/white.shtml):
What The Da Vinci Code has created should interest us, but not because Brown is right about Da Vinci or the infamies of the Catholic Church or powerful secret societies or the real role of Mary Magdalene as apostle and lover to the Christ. The Da Vinci Code is important as an expression of a desire for a spirituality that cannot be had within the confines of the institutionalized church. More simply yet, it is the popular expression of a desire for a kind of meaningfulness to life that is missing for most of us. And certainly, it is the scandalous expression of a willingness to be disobedient to achieve the heretical end of a salvation outside the confines of the church. Through this novel we express our fundamental disgust with our institutionalized lives, and we suggest shocking things that we might previously have imagined were unsayable. The novel offers the unexpected opportunity to flee the dominant culture of Truths-That-Make-No-Sense for the Secret, the Unsayable, and the True. From my point of view, there's nothing wrong with imagining that something's fraudulent about the way our lives are ordered, nothing wrong with wanting to go beyond the illusory in order to know the truth. Beyond the scandal and the sensation and the heavy-handed fiction, it is this assumption of our shared sense of spiritual fraud and the assumption that we're willing to think heretically in order to escape that fraud that makes Brown's deepest appeal to his readers. He promises us liberation, and our eagerness to take up his offer reveals much about our spiritual as well as our political condition.

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