When my friends and I talk...
When my friends and I talk about the movies we've seen or books we've read, we tend to do so by explaining what the movie or book was "about." That is, what themes emerged, or what the director/author seemed to be driving at.I recently read an article by Vishal Mangalwadi, with the fascinating title, "The Da Vinci Code: Sacred Sex and the Betrayal of Feminism." In this article, he contends that Sexual Mysticism is the dominant theme of Dan Brown's story.
He writes, "Sexual Mysticism is the proverbial elephant in the center of Dan Brown's novel but most readers miss seeing that elephant because they don't expect it in a novel about Jesus. Yet, The Da Vinci Code promotes salvation through sex more effectively than its predecessors because it is an iconoclastic novel."
From my reading of the novel, there seemed to be multiple "proverbial elephants," but Mangalwadi's article does a tremendous job touching on a theme I did not know enough about to even notice. I think I also missed this theme because the novel does not push it very overtly. In fact, there is only one explicitly sexual scene.So, what would lead one to conclude that The Da Vinci Code promotes salvation through sex"?
Mangalwadi quotes Brown's novel: "By communion with woman, man could achieve a climactic instant when his mind went totally blank and he could see God [within him]." His article describes underlying beliefs that often accompany such a statement - Goddess Spirituality and Sexual Mysticism. According to Mangalwadi, Brown promotes these as alternatives to the Church, which (as assumed in the novel) represses women and sexuality. Mangalwadi interacts with Goddess Spirituality and Sexual Mysticism, and contrary to Brown's assertions, concludes that neither of these ultimately empowers women.
Though parts of this article are somewhat graphic, and it is long, I would encourage those of you who might be interested to check it out. What do you think? Does Mangalwadi have a point? Are these themes loud enough in the Da Vinci story to assert that they are part of Brown's agenda?
Here is the link: http://www.vishalmangalwadi.com/tsunami.pdf
 Brown, Dan The Da Vinci Code Doubleday, New York, 2003, 308