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“Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.”

-Dan Brown, Angels and Demons

 

Daniel Gerhard Brown, a name too renounced in the field of literature in every part of the globe, holds the reputation of sitting under the elite panel of the most famous and most controversial writers of the present generation. Selling more than hundreds of millions of collective copies of his books, Dan Brown has settled in the lives of his readers for all the more reasons. Famous for his Robert Longdon series, Dan Brown weaves thriller treasure hunts fitting into a 24 hour timeline.  His books are filled with elements like cryptography, symbols, keys or puzzles testing a reader’s mind in the best way possible. His books from the Langdon series include Angels and Demons (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2003), The Last Symbol (2009), Inferno (2013) and Origin (2017).

 

 

Surrounded by controversies

 

Dan, who once desired to be a song writer and pop singer, has had controversies going hand in hand in his career as the novelist. Through his writings he has managed to offend religious extremists particularly the community of Catholic Christians. The American novelist has used historical themes and Christianity as motifs in his books sparking anger and discomfort among the ones who think otherwise. His books have been called anti-Christian though the 53 year old writer has claimed them to be secular and called them purely a piece of fiction. He stated countless times in his interviews that he was brought up in a family with both scientific and religious ideas, his father being a math teacher and mother being a religious lady and hence he was allowed to shoot questions out of curiosity. He said that he does the same in his books but some people do not find it fit.

 

Dan Brown has also faced charges on copyright infringements cases from a number of different sources but they proved to be unsuccessful and the author came out clean all the time. The infringement cases were based on the religious facts and were called to be copied from earlier books by different writers.

 

Controversies and disputes

 

Dan Brown shared his ideas related to religion, particularly Christianity, in a very bold and blatant way which bit him back. His ideas were not supported by many and his work came under open fire. His particular work that attracted the most attention was his second book, The Da Vinci Code. All the major controversies that Dan faced, sparked through this book and was then carried on to his different works.

 

The major complaints related to the book revolved around the fact that Dan misrepresented the core ideology of Christianity and that he twisted and played with the history of Catholic Church. He was also charged against the allegation that he did not portray the European art, history, architecture and geography in factually correct way.

 

In the book, The Da Vinci Code, Jesus is narrated to be a mortal prophet who was married to Mary Magdalene. The fact that Jesus was called just a normal person, spiked up the heat in the catholic community. Questions were raised like if Jesus was merely a human, why would he be married to Goddess in the form of Mary. This and many more such questions were raised in the book The Da Vinci Hoax written by Sandra Miesel and Carl E. Olson. In the book there are a number of questions asked with regards to the modification of history done by Dan Brown in his work.

 

Along with this basic idea which disturbed the majority of the population there were a number of controversies stated in The Da Vinci Hoax and otherwise. Some of them were alleged marriage of Jesus to Mary but is stated differently in the Book of Revelation saying that Jesus was never married, portrayal of Gnostic Christianity, wrong description of the Gods worshipped by particular communities, portrait of Mona Lisa been said to be self portrayal and describing both the genders, allegation on Pope Clement V of burning the Knights Templars, Paris been founded by the Merovingians and science related to planet Venus.

 

Allegations of Plagiarism

 

In 2005, Lewis Perdue sued the controversial author and the publisher on the accounts the Dan Brown’s work was plagiarised from his novel The Da Vinci Legacy and Daughter of God. The suit was dismissed later by the district judge.

 

Another case came upon in 2006 when the writers of Holy blood, Holy Grail, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, sued Brown’s publishers on accounts of plagiarism. The idea of descendents of Jesus being in the picture was first pointed out in their book. The case was called a publicity stunt to boost the sales of their own book. Later that year, High court rejected the claim and Dan was set clear.

 

Jack Dunn, author of Vetican boys sued Brown twice in U.S. Federal courts saying that tha huge chunks were copied from his book to write Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code but both the lawsuits were not allowed to go to the jury trial. He began a claim in 2017 in the London for the same saying that he was not served well in U.S.

 

A man of controversy     

 

To sum up, Dan Brown has led a pretty controversial career with his bold writing. His books have been intriguing to the readers. May that be because of the quality of the content or because of the way he got to that quality. Either way, Dan Brown is still standing tall with his dominant works of fiction and is looking strong for more.

 

 

 

YASH TRIVEDI

HBB BLOGGER

 

 

 

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