The Da Vinci Code is a best-selling historical thriller novel by American author Dan Brown. It was first published in April 2003 and soon became the subject of controversy. It questioned some of the core religious beliefs of Christianity and the history of the Catholic Church by suggesting that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was a mere mortal who was also a husband and a father.
Few books are talked about years after they are first published. The Da Vinci Code is one such book that has been the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars worldwide.
Let's delve into its famous history
Da Vinci Code - Synopsis
In the Louvre Museum, under the famous painting of the Mona Lisa, the museum's curator is shot down. The curator must pass on an important secret, so he leaves behind a mysterious trail of clues and secrets in his dying moments.
After discovering the curator's body, the police summon Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of religious symbols and art, to decode the curator's cryptic messages. Together with Sophie Neveu, a police cryptographer, Langdon tries to interpret the murder scene. This leads them to discover dangerous truths about art, ancient history, and the Bible, that have been kept hidden for thousands of years. If these secrets get out, it could devastate the very foundation of Christianity.”
Da Vinci Code - The Controversy
Although the Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction, the author, through the book, raises complex and potentially controversial questions based on his imagination, like — do the history books necessarily tell the truth?
The controversy around the book heats up mainly because it doubts Christian beliefs about Jesus' life, the Last Supper, the Holy Grail, etc. The book also portrays the conservative Catholic organization — Opus Dei — in a negative light. Furthermore, the novel suggests that Jesus was a mortal who married Mary Magdalene, had children together and that their descendants live in France.
The book is considered a direct attack against the core foundation of Christianity by suggesting that Christianity was founded as a cover-up and that the Catholic Church has hidden the truth about Christ's marriage for nearly two thousand years.
Da Vinci Code - The Film
Columbia Pictures released the film adaptation of the Da Vinci Code on 19th May 2006. It is directed by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard and features Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon and Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu in the lead. The movie was denounced by the Catholic organization Opus Dei and many Christians worldwide.
Da Vinci Code - The Success Story
After the book's release, Dan Brown was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine in 2005. He was credited for positively impacting the publishing industry, renewing the interest in the 15th-century artist Leonardo da Vinci, and early Christian history.
The curiosity around the Da Vinci Code also spiked tourism to Paris, and Rome and saw a growth in the membership of secret societies like the Ire of Cardinals.
Several books were published after the Da Vinci Code that denied the claims made in the novel. Most critics of the Da Vinci Code are Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants.
To address the outrage surrounding the book and the film, Dan Brown had put up a statement on his website stating that he welcomed scholarly debates over his book. Although he claimed that it was a work of fiction, he also cited that it is my own personal belief that the theories discussed by these characters have merit.”
FAQs on Da Vinci Code
Q.1. Was the film the Da Vinci Code banned in India?
Da Vinci Code movie was banned in Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and other states in India.
Q.2. How many pages does the book the Da Vinci Code have?
Da Vinci Code Book has 689 pages in the U.S. hardback edition and 489 pages in the U.S. paperback edition
Q.3. Which are the other famous books by Dan Brown?
Deception Point, Angels and Demons, Inferno, Digital Fortress, etc., are some other famous books by Dan Brown.
Q.4. Why is the Da Vinci Code controversial?
Da Vinci Code is controversial because the book questions the core religious beliefs of Christianity.