21st April 2005
Helenann Hartley noted on her blog that the Da Vinci Code won best book at the British Book Awards. On the one hand, as a novel I found Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code a fun and engaging read, but I wouldn’t think it is the sort of book that should win a such an award! (I assume they have some literary standards for winners??)
On a more positive note, the Da Vinci Code has raised the profile of issues surrounding the development of the NT canon and the feminine divine in popular culture, which I think us academics should capitalize on by organizing public lectures, writing popular articles and books, etc., to deal with these and related topics. (I am hoping to organize a public lecture at Taylor University College in conjunction with the movie release, or perhaps sooner).
In my mind, anything that can raise the public consciousness of these important issues is OK in my books. The only negative thing (that I recall) about the book that comes to mind is its portrayal of the Catholic Church as this secretive oppressive organization. But that’s all the more reason to have good academic responses to such claims in the book!
And of course, we have to remember — it’s only a novel! (But soon to be a movie, then it will have to be reckoned with!).