InkWell is not a religion blog, so I won’t delve too deeply into the controversies surrounding the religious accuracy of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code. If you want to believe that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and started the “Year in Provence” fad by settling down with her in a picturesque converted farmhouse in Southern France–hey, that’s all right by me!
I do get riled, however, at Brown’s buying into–and propagating–the idea that Jesus was an undercover rad-fem secretly propagating a form of Mother Goddess religion–“the sacred feminine”– that supposedly dated back to prehistoric times when peace-loving, egalitarian matriarchies ruled the earth. Real historians and archaeologists demolished that myth decades ago, concluding that there is no written or non-written evidence that a universal goddess religion, much less a working matriarchy or any other society without war, ever existed anywhere. Nonetheless goddess-worship lives on in the imaginations of Wiccans, Gloria Steinem-types, and Dan Brown. Brown’s theory is that early Christians worshipped Mary Magdalene as an embodiment of the “sacred feminine” until mean old patriarchs like the Emperor Constantine suppressed the whole operation.
So I’m pleased to recommend two books that nicely demolish Brown’s claims to scholarly accuracy in his novel: De-Coding Da Vinci, by Amy Welborn, and The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in the Da Vinci Code, by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel. Sandra regularly contributes articles to the IWF website, and Amy runs the terrific Catholic blog Open Book (with a link to InkWell!).
Amy’s book is especially flattering because she cites my article, The Scholars and the Goddess, in the January 2001 issue of the Atlantic Monthly. There I assessed all the historical and archaeological evidence conclusively showing that goddess-worship was an idea invented in the 19th century and that Wicca dates back no further than the 1950s. Amy writes:
“In recent years, however, the ideology driving these conclusions, the ambiguous nature of these purported artifacts, and discovery of weapons and clear evidence of traditional gender-based division of labor in many of these sites, as driven a stake into the myth of the Mother Goddess. There is no evidence to suggest that such an era existed.”
So, bravo, Amy and Sandra! Read their books to watch another sacred cow of radical feminism bite the dust.