Essay / Misc.

Focus on DaVinci

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Focus on the Family has put together a website called Decoding the DaVinci Code, which is a good starting point if you want to prepare yourself to have helpful conversations with people who read the book. Especially with the movie coming out soon, it’s not a bad idea to brush up on some of the actual historical evidence that The DaVinci Code handles so recklessly. There are already over a dozen books published, some of them quite good, that do this job in greter detail. But if you want a quick, free, internet overview, go dot family dot org.

Melissa Schubert, one of the faculty members at the Torrey Honors Institute, has a thoughtful article there entitled What Women Want: The Sacred Feminine and the Forgiveness of Sins.

And I also have an article on the site explaining why The DaVinci Code is bad for art appreciation:

As an amateur art historian, I should be thrilled that a major movie is putting Renaissance masterpieces in front of mass audiences. I’ve been studying Leonardo and the art of the Renaissance for years, and I constantly find new layers of meaning and significance in these beautiful, powerful paintings. You’d think I’d be happy that millions of people will be pondering the mysteries of Leonardo da Vinci’s art because of Dan Brown’s use of them in The Da Vinci Code.

Yet I find myself having the opposite reaction. Like most art history buffs I know, I think that The Da Vinci Code, whether as book or as film, will hurt rather than help me introduce people to the art of Leonardo. The reason is simple: Dan Brown treats all of these works of art as containers for secret messages rather than things worth studying for their own sakes.

Read the whole article here.

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