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Panel discussion at Union to explore ‘The Da Vinci Code’

JACKSON, Tenn.April 25, 2006 – With an upcoming feature film and a best selling book, “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown is a hot topic these days.

To help people think through the issues raised by the book, Union University professors will discuss “The Da Vinci Code” May 2 in an event that is free and open to the public.

“Decoding ‘The Da Vinci Code’” will be a panel discussion that is part of Union’s “Town and Gown” series. It will begin at 6 p.m. in Harvey Auditorium in the Student Union Building.

Four professors will discuss various topics relating to the book:

- Gene Fant, chairman of Union’s English department, will discuss the literary context of the book. He will examine other books in this subgenre of literature and discuss how Brown develops his themes within the text, focusing on the ideas of “fiction” and “truth” in literary works.

Fant will conclude with a brief perspective on how Christians should respond to these kinds of literature.

- Christian studies professor George Guthrie will look at three main questions raised by Brown’s novel: What do historians really know about Mary Magdalene from the various literatures of the first Christian centuries? What is the evidence that the deity of Christ really was a late development in Christian thinking? Were there really more than 80 gospels considered for inclusion in the Bible?

- Chris Nadasky, chairman of Union’s art department, will focus on refuting the claims made in the book regarding specific works of art. His lecture will center primarily on Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.”

- Christian studies professor Hal Poe will explore how the book interprets historical material of the Middle Ages. He will discuss the background of the Cathari heresy and conspiracy theories related to the Knights Templar.

For more information on the panel discussion, call (731) 661-5356.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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