Okay. So I’m reading this 140928 years after everyone else.
It was published in 2003, back when I was just still in high school, so you could understand that my tastes were more towards R.L Stine, Francine Pascal, JK Rowling and the like. It was only recently that I got it for it’s 10th year anniv, since it was going for 30 bucks.
When it first came out, it raised a storm among Christians for it’s controversial content of ‘alternative religion theory’. The storyline suggests that Jesus had a mortal bloodline through his marriage to Mary Magdalene. Me not being Christian, I could read the thing with absolute impartiality. And I have to say Dan Brown writes a really well researched text that is rich with symbology, crpytic messages and hidden images. It conjures in our minds the possibility that all we have believed in and been told have secret stories behind them.
One particular theme that Dan Brown mentioned was the demonisation of the sacred feminine by Christianity, due to the fact that Christendom was a patriarchal religion. He mentioned many references – Eve was made from the rib of Adam, Eve partook the bite from the apple and so bore sin down on mankind which woman has had to bear for generations. The Knights Templar – France’s famous counterpart to England’s Knights of the round table – were accused of occult worship because of the Baphomet figurehead, a ram, which has come to be the symbol of the devil.
Some very interesting bits in the novel seem to have some hint of logic. For example, the ram was a symbol of fertility and empowerment to the female reproduction and her ability to give life, before it became associated to the devil. Paganism, essentially promoted the divinity of females, hence the term the ‘sacred feminine’. However, the fundamentals of Christianity being a mainly patriarchal religion, pagan beliefs challenged the very foundations of the church and had to be dealt with in order to divert everyone to a common belief. Which is why you had witch burning practices, the demonisation of symbols that used to be sacred into ‘deviants’ and ‘heretics’.
I’m not surprised if that WAS the case. It definitely sounds like what modern society is doing to certain groups, doesn’t it? The whole Islamophobia that we have now is a perfect example to how certain powerful groups in the world see the need to ‘demonise’ and rally the people against a common ‘enemy’, like ‘communists’,’LGBTs’, etc. And it isn’t just them. It seems like humans always have a need to make out the Good Vs Bad. Like in the East where the West is bad, vice versa.
Okay I’m rambling off topic again.
The story involves a lot of thrilling problem solving on the side of the protagonists (Robert Langdon/Sophie Neveu) as they race against time to solve the clues left by Sophie’s grandpa Jacques Sauniere, who was a member of a secret occult dedicated to preserving an ancient secret. Well ofc there are forces out there who would stop at nothing to get the valuable secrets that could change the face of one of the biggest religions on earth. And so Rob and Sophie run around libraries and museums, churches and ancient crypts, all the while being chased by a murderous albino monk intent on stopping them.
I have to say it’s a great book. The opening might be a little boring but once you immerse yourself in it you won’t be able to put it down. For fans of historical fiction, definitely your cup of tea.
I haven’t watched the movie before so I can’t tell you if the book /movie is better.
Pretty good book. High re-read value. I’ll probably fish it out after a couple of months to go through it again.