I’m sure you haven’t heard, but there is a new book coming out tomorrow by author Dan Brown entitled “The Lost Symbol”. Brown’s last book, “The Da Vinci Code”, sold, like, a gazillion copies, made various Catholics and conservative Christians pop a gasket, and spawned a mega-grossing movie (not to mention a successful prequel/sequel) starring Tom Hanks. In anticipation of this assured best-seller James Kaplan from Parade Magazine sits down with Brown to talk about his work, whether he believes in the conspiracy theories he writes about, and why he was inspired to write about the divine feminine. “Part of it was my mom–she is strong in her convictions and yet absolutely open to embracing a change in them. Part of it was falling in love and also looking at other religions, especially older ones, paganism, the Mother Earth concept.
I’m not a fan of Dan Brown’s writing. I think he’s something of a hack, who lucked out by stumbling onto a deep yearning to embrace the divine feminine. The films, thanks partly to director Ron Howard, are far more entertaining, excising much of the tiresome lecturing masquerading as prose in Brown’s novels. One of my only real pleasures in considering the influence of Brown’s career is how he seems to make conservative Catholics (and quite a few conservative Protestants) spend countless hours debunking a popular fiction writer. Enter conservative (Catholic) columnist Ross Douthat, who in his zeal to slam the co-existence of Jesus with Brown’s various New Age/heretical theories does his own sloppy research.
Now we get to the top four news stories of 2006 that had (or will have) the greatest effect on our communities. 4. The resignation of Jim Towey. In April of this year the appointed director of the recently formed White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives stepped down. Towey led an Office that was controversial from its first announcement, raising questions regarding separation of Church and State, and the role of government funding religious organizations.