Saturday, May 27, 2006

Women Reflect on "The DaVinci Code"

A great new website to check out ... (A Project of Faith and with this invitation: "The Da Vinci Code has touched a nerve in our culture. As a woman, what does this national dialogue mean to you?"

To whet your appetite, here's an excerpt from "I just knew they weren't telling us everything!" by the Reverend Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, President of Chicago Theological Seminary and a member of the HRC Religion Council:

I have spoken with several people, not just women, but men too about this book, and I think that one of the reasons that The Da Vinci Code has been so important to people is that in general they feel they have not always been told the truth by religious authorities. Their experience of the divine, the movement of the spirit in their lives so to speak, doesn’t always match the church’s teaching. Many have felt like they were not being told all the facts or the whole story.

Dan Brown’s fictional work highlights a Mary Magdalene who was not, in fact, the repentant prostitute she has been portrayed in church teaching and art to be. There is simply no biblical evidence that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute though the church has taught that she was.

The Bible does explicitly say, on the other hand, that Mary Magdalene was a witness to the resurrection. One of the definitions of apostle is “resurrection witness.” This would, if unchallenged by the church, have given her apostolic authority.

Read it all here.


Chip Webb said...

"They are finding confirmation of their suspicions they have been lied to by the church, or at least deceived in part by the church. This touches something deep inside that has long been suppressed by many—‘I just knew they weren’t telling us everything!’"

And how are they finding "confirmation" from a book that plays as fast and loose with the facts as Dan Brown's bestseller? They may be finding support for their deeply held views and mistrust of the church, but they aren't truly getting confirmation because Dan Brown's not shedding any new historical light.

Didn't Rowan address this subject very well a few weeks back? I was surprised by such a strong statement on his part, but deeply gratified by it.

Peace of Christ,


Dan Brown may not be, but he's certainly opened the door for those curious about the "facts" to check into biblical scholarship and church history that challenges many things the institutional church has told us were "true" through the centuries.

Whether or not Dan Brown "sheds new historical light" I say anything that gets us thinking and talking about our faith is worth talking about.

Catherine said...

Yes it is a very good site for women, both lay and clergy. I found the site last week and have a similar encouraging word on my weblog too. Glad to see we think in similar ways, Susan.

Anonymous said...

You know, our family just finished watching the movie "National Treasure", and I was struck by the fact that while many say it is a great story, (and it is) no one is trying to say it is anything but that- a great story. The free masons existed, so there could be a map on the back of the Declaration that would lead to a massive historical discovery and untold wealth...maybe the founding fathers have been lying to us all this time?! Maybe our country wasn't founded for the reasons we thought.

Why do people take one good action story (DVC), which is based on a very few well-placed facts, and make it into a conspiracy theory in one instance, and take another (NT) also with a few well-placed facts in it, and just enjoy it at face value for what it is...entertainment? I think religion is the key. One deals with something that the world wants to refute, prove wrong, or "do" their own way and one is just fun. It is something that is making me think.

The bible would be the place for those "who have their suspicions" about the church, since God laid everything out there. The church has historically based all of it's teachings on what was written in Scripture, and has made maistakes in the past, as it is run by humans. But we can see through history that She (the Church) repents and returns to the path that was laid out in the Bible. We have just not been directing people in the right direction for so long, that we ourselves have forgotten where to go.

Jeff Martinhauk said...


Hmmm... Mark it down, I think I agree with you!


Anonymous said...

"Be still my beating heart!" I think you have made my weekend, and definitely brought a smile to my face. :o)

Who knows- There may be hope for us all, yet!
Have a blessed Memorial Day!