05/30/2005: In an ideal world, you wouldn't have to debunk a novel....
but this isn't an ideal world.
For some reason, there are a lot of people out there who seem to think that Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code, is a factual narrative and not a novel (the fact that Brown claimed (according to my sources; I haven't read The Da Vinci Code myself) that it was based on "historical truth" may certainly hasn't helped some members of the autience in keeping the two separate). For those who might be disposed to see The Da Vinci Code as a factual narrative, Professor Bart D. Ehrman, chairman of the religious studies department at the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill, has written what looks like an interesting book, Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code: A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine. I've not read this particular work, but I own and have read three other books by Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament, Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, and Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Not Make It Into The New Testament, and based on those works I know that Ehrman has both an encyclopedic knowledge of the relevant history, and a writing style that is clear and accessible to the intelligent layperson.
I'll be keeping my eyes out for this one.
Len on 05.30.05 @ 07:36 PM CST