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Truth Trumps "DaVinci Code" Fiction

Truth is More Fascinating Than "The DaVinci Code"

Real Counter-Histories May Be More Subversive Than The Best Seller

(March 10, 2006)

Riverside, Calif. -- What makes “The DaVinci Code” such fascinating reading? It’s because people are drawn to the notion of a “counter-history,” says Andrew S. Jacobs, associate professor of religious studies at UC Riverside. “A secret history,” explains Jacobs, “the ‘true story’ that we realize has been hidden from us all along.” A counter-history, such as that provided by “The DaVinci Code,” challenges everything we think we know about Jesus, the Bible, Mary Magdalene and Christianity itself, he says.

With almost three years on the New York Times bestseller list, author Dan Brown’s tale has become a national obsession. It’s spawned countless theological debates, television documentaries, news stories, book club discussions, and even lawsuits. The movie version is about to open nationally.

While questions raised by the book may be news to readers, it‘s old hat to scholars studying the New Testament and early Christianity. “In fact, much of the scholarly work on the historical Jesus, the history of the Biblical canon, and the roles of the women of the Jesus movement, may prove more subversive and challenging than anything dreamed up by Brown in his best-selling novel,” says Jacobs.

Jacobs will distill fact from fiction and share some of these challenging scholarly counter-histories generated about Jesus and the early Christian movement in his lecture “Counter-History and the DaVinci Code” at this month’s Citizens University Committee breakfast meeting, Wednesday, March 22, 2006, at 7:30 a.m. at the University Extension Building, 1160 University Avenue, Riverside. Tickets are $15 for members ($20 for non-members) and include a deluxe breakfast buffet. For tickets contact Robin Clark (951) 827-5184.


The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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