Have Institutional Access? Forgot your password? PDF Preview. Table of Contents. Related Content. In Jesuit Polymath of Madrid D. Scott Hendrickson offers the first English-language account of the life and work of Juan Eusebio Nieremberg , a leading intellectual in Spain during the turbulent decades of the mid-seventeenth century.
Most remembered as a prominent ascetic in the neo-Platonic tradition, Nieremberg emerges here as a writer deeply indebted to the legacy of Ignatius Loyola and his Spiritual Exercises. Hendrickson convincingly shows how Nieremberg drew from his formation in the Jesuit order at the time of its first centenary to engage the cultural and intellectual currents of the Spanish Golden Age.
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In , the Spanish Jesuit Pedro de Ribadeneyra published a history of the English Reformation, which he continued to revise until his death in Spencer J. The History , long derided as mere propaganda, emerges as remarkable evidence of the centrality of historiography to the intellectual, theological, and political battles of early modern Europe. Terms and Conditions Privacy Statement. According to DP,. DP is again more nuanced. Here the text of Exposition of the Divine Principle is clear:. There are tantalizing hints that Mary Magdalene was a candidate.
As Rev. In addition to the sacred feminine, both The Da Vinci Code and Unification theology attempt to restore the sacredness of human sexuality. It was a spiritual act. Unlike The Da Vinci Code , which regards original sin to be a fabrication designed to denigrate women , DP accepts the fall account but interprets it in sexual terms. Although DP offers a sexual interpretation of the human fall and original sin, it does not follow that Unification theology is anti-sexual.
In fact, Unification sources rhapsodize over the joy of sex. Moon peppers his speeches with references to male and female sexual organs both The Da Vinci Code and Rev. Moon traffic heavily in concave and convex imagery , explosions of love, and admonitions that married couples overcome inappropriate squeamishness as to physical contact. The tradition goes so far as to postulate that conjugal love in the afterlife extends beyond the bedroom to fields, the beach and mountainsides. Moon affirms that the divine is expressed and present in the sexual act.
However, the sanctification of human sexual relations is confined to married couples and do not involve public ritual enactments as in The Da Vinci Code. Essentially, it depicts the Church as an illegitimate institution, based upon lies from its very inception. However, it regards the Church to have had a legitimate religious mission which continues. Both also view the Bible through historical-critical lenses. The Da Vinci Code is profoundly anti-clerical. Divine Principle contains anti-clerical elements but does not consider the Church to have been distorted from inception.
Secondly, Christianity must take down the cross. It views the cross as a barrier between Christianity and other religious traditions as well as a barrier between Christianity and Christ.
Neither The Da Vinci Code nor DP view the end times as a cataclysmic scenario, characterized by supernaturally-induced natural disasters. Both texts instead view the end time as a period of historical transition. However, they both understand the last days within the context of unfolding historical processes. Langdon also is motivated by the promise of a more egalitarian world. Divine Principle utilizes biblical rather than astrological prophecy to deconstruct literalist interpretations of the end times.
I Thess. Divine Principle is not a novel and, therefore, does not personalize conflicting perspectives as Brown does with Langdon and Teabing. Having pointed out similarities and differences between The Da Vinci Code and Divine Principle , it remains to assess how the revisionist content of both texts relates to the broader Christian tradition.
This section will highlight resonances between the two texts and the broader tradition both in terms of theological method and content in each of the seven areas considered, i. The intention in each case is to offer preliminary observations rather than to be definitive. I will conclude by assessing the principal contribution of both texts to contemporary theological discourse. The use of allegory, symbol and typologies of various hues is by no means unprecedented but has an ancient and ongoing pedigree within Jewish and Christian traditions.
Apocalyptic literature Daniel, Revelation is crammed with code language, in part to mislead would-be persecutors of the faith, i. In noting their effect, one modern scholar writes,. Both texts offer internal rationales and justifications for their positions as noted.
Both The Da Vinci Code and DP undertake efforts to recover the sacred feminine, which they claim has been suppressed within the Christian tradition. To be sure, efforts to reclaim the divine or sacred feminine are gathered at the margins of Christian faith, in part due to the threat they represent to a predominantly male church.
Nevertheless, these efforts are gaining in force and momentum. However, new age physics as well as renewed creation-evolution controversies have revived interest in creation-based theologies and spiritualities. There is little in The Da Vinci Code or DP which is at cross-purposes to traditional natural theologies apart from the manner in which they both utilize creation-based arguments to buttress their positions in favor of the sacred feminine.
That is, they both view the yang and yin in the natural order to be reflective of the Divine nature. Hence, it exhibits a radical openness to any number of Mother Earth-based spiritualities as have a procession of Christian mystics from Meister Ekhardt to Matthew Fox. There is a small but vocal group of contemporary theologians who are likewise critical of the blood atonement. Hence, in terms of their respective Christologies, The Da Vinci Code and DP may be difficult to place within the Christian tradition as they self-consciously deconstruct previous positions.
However, it must be acknowledged that deconstruction and reconstruction is an ongoing dynamic within Christian theology and life.
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In particular, each generation and culture interprets Jesus anew as has been documented. In their depiction of human sexuality, The Da Vinci Code and DP straddle the divide between repressive, anti-sexual tendencies within the Christian tradition and libertinism of the sexual revolution. Affirming a disciplined yet joyful attitude toward sex is fairly commonplace within contemporary Christianity.
What is distinctive about The Da Vinci Code and Unification theology is their mutual emphasis on sexuality as an expression of and pathway to the divine. However, Christianity as a whole has stopped short of embracing sacred sex. Given widespread sexual confusion and misconduct, notably among clergy, it may be that the tradition ought to reconsider its position.
It might be questioned how the profound anti-clericalism of The Da Vinci Code interacts with the Christian tradition in any meaningful way. However, DP affirms a doctrine of continuing revelation. It must be remembered that anti-clericalism, charges of illegitimacy including distortions of scripture and sectarian violence have been all too common fixtures in the history of Christianity. Churches have subjected their rivals to the harshest denunciations. Various Protestant sects have regarded Roman Catholic Church and its offices as the invention of power-crazed human beings, or the devil, not God.
Roman Catholics have applied similar phases of opprobrium i. In this regard, anti-clericalism, even of the most radical sort, ought not disqualify either text from consideration any more than it has disqualified previous claimants to truth. Christianity typically finessed claimed encounters with the supernatural by such personages as Francis of Assisi, Ignatius Loyola or Bernadette of Lourdes by distinguishing between divine inspiration and revelation.
In so doing, they chart an eschatological course midway between cataclysmic end time scenarios envisioned by Biblical fundamentalists and skepticism as to end time scenarios at all, especially claims as to their imminent occurrence, which characterizes the views of liberally minded Christians.
The texts resonate with fundamentalist readings in that they accept though redefine the end time, posit decisive change, and perceive signs of its immanent arrival. Mediating theologies are typically rejected by contending parties on either side and form third wave alternatives. Mainstream theology tends to be predictable, if not boring. Theologians face the unenviable task of inspiring interest in questions for which the answers are already known. Stated differently, their job is to think inside the box. From this perspective, The Da Vinci Code and Divine Principle challenge the mainstream paradigm, calling upon theology to recover its vocation as a high stakes enterprise with meaningful consequences.
The two texts, in effect, are saying that theology needs to be breathtaking. It also needs to be imaginative, even fun.
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However, they reinforce the truism that the more interesting and cutting edge theologies emerge from the periphery rather than from the center. Seoul, Korea, Aug. Journal of Unification Studies Vol.
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