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Koers

versão On-line ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.74 no.1-2 Pretoria  2009

 

COMMUNICATION

 

Why the fuss over Brown's The Da Vinci code? The dynamism of "icons" and the in/stability of meaning1

 

Waarom die stryd om Brown se The Da Vinci code? Die dinamiek van "ikone" en die on/stabiliteit van betekenis

 

 

C. Lombaard

Department of Christian Spirituality, University of South Africa, Pretoria. E-mail: ChristoLombaard@gmail.com

 

 


ABSTRACT

Dan Brown's book, "The Da Vinci code" (2003) and the subsequent motion picture by the same title (2006), have created a considerable stir within, but not limited to, Christian circles. The cause of the controversy is that, despite Brown's overt presentation of this work as fiction, it draws on figures, events and themes regarded in religious circles as sacred - most particularly in Christian circles. Holy figures, events and themes are sensitive matters to believers: the meanings attached to them are regarded as essentially fixed, with connotations of permanence and eternity. Literature of many kinds, however, reinterpret set meanings, loosening their perceived inflexibility, thus opening up a dynamism quite foreign to popular notions of definite meaning.

Key concepts: construction of meaning; icons as set meanings; reinterpretation of religion; The Da Vinci code


OPSOMMING

Dan Brown se boek, "The Da Vinci code" (2003) en die daaropvolgende rolprent met dieselfde naam (2006), het redelik woelinge binne Christelike kringe, maar ook daarbuite veroorsaak. Die oorsaak van die geskilgesprekke is dat, ten spyte daarvan dat Brown sy werk duidelik as fiksie aanbied, hy persone, gebeure en temas aanwend wat in godsdienstige kringe, en veral in Christelike kringe, as heilig beskou word. Sodanige heilige persone, gebeure en temas dra 'n hoë sensitiwiteitswaarde vir gelowiges: die betekenisse daaraan geheg word as inherent standhoudend beskou, met daaraan gekoppelde konnotasies van permanensie en ewigheid. Verskillende soorte letterkunde herinterpreteer egter vaste betekenisinhoude wat die waargenome stabiliteit ontanker, sodat 'n nuwe betekenisdinamiek moontlik word - iets wat vreemd is aan algemene idees rondom 'n vasgestelde betekenis.

Kernbegrippe: betekeniskonstruering; herinterpretasie van godsdiens; ikone as vasgestelde betekenis; The Da Vinci code


 

 

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

 

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1 This is an altered version of a paper first read at the "Exploring The Da Vinci code" Public Conference, presented by the Department of New Testament, Unisa, at the Santa Sophia Conference Centre, Pretoria, in 2006.

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