Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dan Brown-esque un- theology

I sometimes get asked what I thought of Dan Brown's books. I typically feel a mixture of remorse (for ignoring the entire corpus of Dan Brown) and relief (...for ignoring said corpus of pulp fiction!) as well. My wife read The Da Vinci Code, and promptly let me know that the writing was so bad, I shouldn't bother to read it.

 On the other hand, there are those who take advantage of the large audiences for the kind of thing that Dan Brown has to offer and who market themselves as... for example, documentary filmakers. I sense that we should pay better attention than we do to this media genre. (The "we" here - being professional scholars, including theologians.)

Simcha Jacobovici is exhibit 'A' in this category of Dan Brown-esque creative persons. He's the one responsible for that howler of a documentary back in 2007 which tried to claim that the Lost Tomb of Jesus had been 'discovered'. The wikipedia article does a good job of exposing that poor piece of work here... at least for now. That article may be changed, wikipedia being what it is.

The latest scandal involving Jacobovici is a "documentary" that aired during Holy Week apparently - on the lost nails of Jesus' crucifixion. This is exposed here. Take a deep breath, and here's the summation of the latest "documentary"...
Simcha Jacobovici’s claim of the discovery of the “Lost Nails of the Crucifixion” is speculation wrapped in hearsay couched in conspiracy masquerading as science ensconced in sensationalism slathered with misinformation and topped with a colorful hat.
It just keeps coming, this Dan Brown-esque un-theology. What is the proper response?