28.8.07

FOR YE HAVE THE HIPPIES WITH YOU ALWAYS. About the same time I picked up The Da Vinci Code and Cracking the Da Vinci Code, I purchased Secrets of the Code and finally finished it, which might tell you more than a lengthy Book Review No. 29. The subtitle is The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind the Da Vinci Code. A more truthful subtitle might be The Empty Set. My post title summarizes one thread in the material editor Dan Burstein put together. The first collection of essays flies under the heading "The Drama of Herstory, History, and Heresy." The Gnostics play the part of the hippies, and, yes, there are several essays by trendy academicians trying to find justification for their contemporary experiments against reality in ancient texts, whether reliable or not. There are dissenting views as well, allowing a reader to weigh some of the conflicting arguments and draw a conclusion. A shorter collection, "The Da Vinci Code Revealed," is more useful for a reader curious about the veracity of the novel itself.

I did find one observation by Mr Burstein instructive. (Turn to page 428)
In attacking The Da Vinci Code and calling for Catholic bookstores to stop selling it, [Tarcisio Cardinal] Bertone [the Archbishop of Genoa] seemed to be suggesting a return to a time when church leaders believed they could win intellectual and philosophical debates by simply banning or suppressing certain ideas.
Why not? Dress it up as progressive intolerance and rename the Committee for the Defense of the Faith as the Diversity Office and you've perfectly described contemporary attitudes.

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