Having recently finished reading The Da Vinci Code, I was wondering about some of the research Dan Brown alluded to, which provided the bulk of his material. After reading around for a while, the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail was mentioned frequently, as was Foucault’s Pendulum. A few quick moments on Amazon.com brought me a hardcover copy of each. To get my order above $25 for free shipping, I also picked up a copy of Quicksilver, to start my journey along The Baroque Cycle. I liked Cryptonomicon, so it only made sense.
Oddly enough, Quicksilver and Holy Blood, Holy Grail were provided by Amazon and their wonderful free-shipping. I managed to find a cheap used copy of Foucault’s Pendulum from one of Amazon’s partners, which of course didn’t qualify under Amazon’s Super Saver shipping. Yet the books with free shipping from California, have already arrived. How’s that for irony?
Becky, as you are a virtual compendium of religious history, have you read Foucault’s Pendulum or Holy Blood, Holy Grail? If so, what do you think of the assertions they make? If there’s any truth to any of these books, it makes an interesting perspective on all of Christianity. I find it ironic that a religion would germinate from perverting the original message of its own Messiah.
Not that it matters. If Jesus Christ were alive today, he would be derided as a subversive who associated the activities of whores and thieves. At best considered a dirty hippy, at worst, a terrorist. Though the United States claims to be a primarily Christian nation, the exaggerated focus on war, divine retribution, intolerance, and repression, suggests a convenient label for ideas few truly comprehend.
I find it amusing that most Christians quote the Old Testament to support their own biased views, while conveniently ignoring where the New Testament openly conflicts. Anyone who claims Jesus would agree to any war, has never read the bible. Yet The Crusades are a vivid illustration of how even the text upheld by The Church is completely ignored at the convenience of any particular situation.
So, even if every word of the three books related to the truth of Christianity are true, I doubt it will matter. Even if there were stone-cold proof that Christ was just a man who advocated kindness to others, forgiveness, and love, and that The Church has sought to erase this history forever, nobody will really care. People use The Bible as a crutch in most cases, to accuse and remonstrate their beliefs as parallel to those of God. The cognitive dissonance in such a case would resonate audibly, but life would go on. I only wish people would think for themselves instead of thumping a book they’ve never actually read, or read so subjectively, the effect is identical.