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de-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts Behind the Fiction of the Da Vinci Code Paperback – April 1, 2004
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Amy Welborns De-Coding Da-Vinci is a strong effort. -- Mark Gauvreau Judge, Breakpoint, May 6, 2004
Even people who haven't already read the novel that it trounces would profit from reading De-Coding Da Vinci. -- Patrick O'Hannigan, Spectator Online, April 28, 2004
Ms. Welborn's book...destroys the hokum and commits it to the ashcan reserved for phony attacks on the Church. -- Fr. Andrew Greeley
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Top Customer Reviews
--That Constantine selected the books of the New Testament and invented the divinity of Christ.
--That the early Church covered up Jesus' marriage to Mary Magdalene.
--That Jesus originally designated her as the leader of his movement and that she in fact is the Holy Grail.
While these claims seem quite exciting, Amy shows that the truth is even more startling. The controversy over *The Da Vinci Code* provides an opportunity to learn the facts about Christian origins. Skepticism is good both for Christians and non-Christians. Amy's book will help any honest inquirer. Read it and decide for yourself.
There are many ways this antidote to DVC could have been mishandled: the author could have written an ad hoc attack upon Dan Brown, or a cosmic wail against the anti-Catholic bias of the work, or a "preaching to the choir" methodology of uncritical defense of those areas of Catholic life and history that Brown played upon so well. The author successfully avoided these pitfalls, for the most part, with a terse but thorough dismantling of the major historical and theological flaws. Welborn, who did her graduate history studies at Vanderbilt University, clearly holds the upper hand.
The author addresses about a dozen topics that DVC manhandles with distressing consistency: the identity of Mary Magdalene, the determination of the canon or texts of the New Testament, the Roman Emperor Constantine, the Holy Grail, Leonardo Da Vinci, feminism in the Church, mystery religions, and Opus Dei. Each separate critique is deadly to a novel which depends upon an intricately developed puzzle. It would require only a few threads to unravel before the plot line becomes irrational. Welborn works with a tailor's shears. To cite just one area of critique, Welborn devotes a chapter to Brown's depiction of Da Vinci himself, and discovers that the moniker "Da Vinci" is not the artist's name. He was known then, and to experts today, as Leonardo.Read more ›
The amateur historian in me wishes to point out a couple things. First of all, the magnitude of his claims about Christian history and theology are breathtaking. Second, claims of that magnitude had better have bulletproof documentation to back them up.
Amy Welborn's book does an excellent job of finding holes in the allegedly sound historical basis for the novel in question. Welborn's book is breezily written, which can be an aid in understanding the book's points. It also provides review questions and recommendations for further study.
It is a good introduction to the controversy raised by The DaVinci Code. For those who want more detail, there are many others. For example, there is The DaVinci Hoax, also available here.
Welborn, for instance, doesn't spend much time on the way anti-Semitic strains in 19th century German philosophy and theology influences a lot of the "theology" in Dan Brown's book. She also doesn't spend as much time on the modern origins of Wicca as one might hope. Kellmeyer's argument from Scripture debunking the assertions about marriage between Mary Magdelene and Jesus are very compelling; Welborn's arguments are good, but she misses the points he makes.
Overall, the two books overlap on some points, but they complement each other well. If you buy this book, you'll need "Fact and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code" to finish fleshing out the answers.
Amy Welborn points out some of the many errors about religion, history, and art contained in The Da Vinci Code in this short pamphlet.
What is The Da Vinci Code?
The Da Vinci Code is a novel by Dan Brown that has held one of the top two or three places on best-seller lists since early summer. More than 3 million copies are in print.
In Brown's novel, the "Da Vinci code" refers to cryptic messages supposedly incorporated by Leonardo Da Vinci into his artwork. According to the novel, Leonardo was a member of an ancient secret society called the "Priory of Sion" dedicated to preserving the "truths" that Jesus designated Mary Magdalene as His successor, that His message was about the celebration of the "sacred feminine," that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had children and that the Holy Grail of legend and lore is really Mary Magdalene, the "sacred feminine," the vessel who carried Jesus' children.
Sounds like an intriguing bit of lost history. Is it? Long story short: No.
Is the Holy Grail really the "sacred feminine?"
The legend of the Holy Grail has taken many forms throughout history, but it has always identified the Grail as the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper. The idea of identifying it as the "sacred feminine" and tying it into a supposed bloodline emanating from a union of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is lifted whole cloth from the 1981 classic of inventive esoteric wackiness, Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
Is the "Priory of Sion" a real group?
No. Brown begins his book with a statement, under the title "Fact," that there are documents supporting the existence of the Priory in the Bibliotheque Nationale.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have no way to rate this "book" at zero stars. It's really not a book, it's a pamphlet.
Despite it being a short book (124 pages), I couldn't read more than a dozen or... Read more
In [Miss?/Mrs.?] Amy Welborn's basically good
book, 'De-coding DaVinci', subtitled 'The facts
behind the fiction of the DaVinci Code', author
Welborn is right on... Read more
I just had to comment (her comments are disabled) on the "dialogue" post on how we shouldn't consider the DVC serious dialogue. Read morePublished on July 11, 2008 by J. Magallanes
The only part of this book worth listening to is Welborn's advice on the final page to not trust an author with an agenda. Read morePublished on July 8, 2006 by Jay Masters
Suppose Dan Brown had written a "fictional thriller" entitled "The Hassidic Code". In this fictional novel, suppose Dan Brown wrote about the biggest secret in all history: the... Read morePublished on July 6, 2006 by the big cheeze
A reviewer below bashes this book and others like it because it sets out to debunk Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code", which is "just a fiction book!" afterall. Read morePublished on May 20, 2006 by Hollywood Pundit
The media frenzy over Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code is certainly far greater than is warranted. Read morePublished on May 16, 2006 by Labarum
De-Coding Da Vinci by Amy Welborn is the best selling Catholic response to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Read morePublished on May 8, 2006 by Roger N. Overton
This is the 5th book of this type I have purchased. I have read ones by Catholics and Protestants.
Many of Wellborn's other books are written for and aimed a teenagers. Read more