More on the Da Vinci Code’s Appeal

One of the amazing/humbling things about blogging is how smart the readers are. As a traditional journalist, I always got to be smarter than my readers; no more. I’ve been corrected on intellectual points again and again, and the correctors are usually right. (It goes without saying that this represents a huge development, one that will change writers and reading forever…)

All this to say that one commenter, Judy, has responded to my somewhat-snarky take on the Da Vinci Code and explained the popular impact of its ideas. Go read her comment in full. Here are some key bits:

lots of christian women respond to the book because it throws mary magdalene in the face of the church and says that women are really really important in the story of jesus and that marriage (read: sex with women) is a good thing not a bad thing (a viewpoint still not 100% signed off on by the cardinals, two milennia after the death of jesus.)…the book was also admired by my brother-in-law, a middleaged jewish guy not usually given to historical, feminist, or christian musings, who finished the book, then called me up and asked me to tell him more about this whole jesus-was-married thing. This gnostic gospel view of things is much more human and believable than the version of church history passed down by the early christian fathers, and people connect with it whenever it’s presented to them in relatable form (e.g., not as weird scrolls found in jars near the Red Sea but in pop fiction).

Humble thanks. No wonder that a couple of my Catholic friends have commented on the power of the story for them, in undoing some of the myths that they grew up with. (And of course I can relate it to my Jewish myths: Leon Uris’s Exodus, for instance, which fostered the belief that no one got forced off their land in Palestine…) More on the Da Vinci Code’s Appeal