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By Carl Olson
The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s best selling novel, purports to be more than fiction: it claims to be based on fact and scholarly research. Brown wants his readers to believe that he is revealing the long-concealed truth about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and early Christianity, a truth that he says has been suppressed by the malevolent and conspiratorial forces of the Catholic Church. The novel alleges that there has been throughout history a secret group of true followers of a Gnostic Jesus and his wife, Mary Magdalene, the true “Holy Grail”. Almost everything most Christians and non-Christians think they know about Jesus, according to Dan Brown, is completely wrong, the result of Catholic propaganda designed to hide the truth from the world.
But are The Da Vinci Code’s claims fact or just plain fiction? Is the novel well-researched as claimed? What is the truth about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the early Church? Has the Catholic Church distorted the real Jesus? Why is the novel so popular? What about the anti-Catholic, anti-Christian agenda behind the novel?
Best selling author Carl Olson and journalist Sandra Miesel answer these and other important questions. Their painstaking research into The Da Vinci Code and its sources reveals some surprising truths. No one who has read or heard about The Da Vinci Code should miss this provocative and illuminating book.
“The title of this book by Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel says it all. The authors of The Da Vinci Hoax deserve our gratitude for exposing in considerable detail and with a sure touch the fabrications of Dan Brown’s book. Theirs is the definitive debunking.”
--Cardinal Francis George
Archbishop of Chicago
"You'll save yourself precious time and money, and hang on to your common sense, if you skip The Da Vinci Code and go straight to Carl Olson's and Sandra Miesel's wonderful The Da Vinci Hoax. Conspiracy theories are always alluring, but nothing satisfies like the truth -- and Olson and Miesel do a superb job of defending the Catholic faith against one of the strangest pieces of fiction of our time."
--Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver
"Finally! Someone has taken the trouble to counter the absurdities of The Da Vinci Code, and to confront all the anti-Christian and anti-Catholic rhetoric that book has inspired. In writing their own well-informed and well-argued text, Olson and Miesel have done a real service, not just to Christians, but to anyone weary of contemporary fads and foolishness. And unlike the original Code, The Da Vinci Hoax is a delight to read."
Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies, Pennsylvania State University
“In The Da Vinci Hoax, Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel bring their considerable analytical powers to bear on the phenomenally successful novel by Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code is a writhing nest of neo-Gnostic myths, blatant falsehoods, half-truths and absurd suppositions presented as facts--indeed, it is one of the most odious cases of revisionist history that have appeared during the past two centuries.
Olson and Miesel dissect it carefully--break the code of the Code, as it were--revealing not only Brown’s distortions of history but the underlying malice in his ‘fictional’ attack on Christianity. The Da Vinci Hoax is more than a refutation of a single book; it is an antidote to a poisonous genre that is growing in contemporary writing. This is a fascinating read and very good medicine!”
Author, Father Elijah: An Apocalypse
“I’ve painfully watched some usually-sensible university students fall victim to The Da Vinci Code disease. I’ll enjoy having this clearly-written antidote to prescribe.”
Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
Editor-in-chief, World Magazine
“Olsen and Miesel have done a superb and meticulous job of dissecting the fraud which is The Da Vinci Code. Not only Christians, but all fair –minded people owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Professor of History, St. Louis University
By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, has been the most visible
member of the Catholic clergy in the world second only to Pope John
Paul II. His status as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made him one of the most discussed churchmen in recent
On the occasion of Ratzingers’s seventy-fifth birthday, his former students selected essays, lectures, letters, and conferences that Ratzinger has written in recent years— writing that they feel best represents his position on issues of theology, the modern world, secularism, non-Christian religious, and other key topics of the Catholic Church. This book, characterized by Ratzinger’s concisely reasoned style, is an invaluable resource to those who wish to understand the modern Church and the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI, as well as a treasured volume for those who are students of Ratzinger’s theology.
“Cardinal Ratzinger is one of the great spirits and most distinguished theologians of contemporary Catholicism. This tribute is a living testimony to Cardinal Ratzinger’s life long labors on behalf of the communion of the Church which is rooted in the love of Christ. No one demonstrates better than Cardinal Ratzinger that the Church’s tradition is a living and dynamic reality, born of a truth that everyone can know
and love— and, in so doing, be transformed.” —George Wiegel
Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, was for over two decades The Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope John Paul II. He is the author of Spirit of the Liturgy, Salt of the Earth, Introduction to Christianity, God and the World, Milestones, Called to Communion, God Is Near Us, and many other works published by Ignatius Press.
Learn more about Pope Benedict! Visit the Works of Benedict
By Harry Sylvester
Spencer Bain is a modern man of science, a university anthropologist doing fieldwork in a small New Mexican town. Used to long separations from his wife, a UCLA professor equally dedicated to her career, he is mostly untroubled by his infidelities, and hers; that is, until now.
In order to study the religious practices of the Penitentes, a brotherhood of local men who engage in severe, medieval penances, Bain feigns a conversion to Catholicism and participates in their Lenten observances, including their dramatic public procession on Good Friday.
Nothing in Bain’s skeptical academic training has prepared him for the profound remorse that he begins to experience. Though no sentimentalist with respect to the poor and ignorant who surround him, he cannot help but contrast the simple yet solid lives of the men and women he studies with his own fruitless relationships and those of the jaded, over-sexed sophisticates — the self-proclaimed artists and intellectuals — he considers his peers.
Artistically descriptive of the rugged Southwest and the people who dwell there, the novel also movingly portrays the inner landscape of a man coming to grips with his need for redemption. Author Harry Sylvester masterfully illustrates both the objective reality and the subjective experience of guilt and grace.
“Dayspring is timeless in that it deals with an ordinary man suddenly and shockingly exposed to eternal realities far beyond his experience or comprehension. Not only was Harry Sylvester a powerful novelist in his own right, but Dayspring belongs in the very select list of American spiritual classics, of its great Christian novels. . . This is a thoroughly modern book in the questions it asks about the nature of Christianity, and the tremendous spiritual appeal of the forms of faith found in the Southwest. It is above all a novel of conversion, of how the rising sun of faith begins to ‘enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.’ ”
— Philip Jenkins, Professor of Humanities,
Pennsylvania State University
By Blandine Male, Helene Fabe-Henriet
Thanks to the prayers and good example of his young wife, Clothilde, the fierce barbarian Clovis experienced a miraculous conversion on the field of battle and became a Christian in 496, forever changing the destiny of France.
In this book for young people, Queen Clothilde tells the exciting story of her life from her point of view. Though it reads like a diary, all of the historical facts have been thoroughly researched and verified by reliable sources.
Honored by the Catholic Church as a saint, Clothilde was the daughter of the King of Burgundy. Raised as a Christian by her mother, the princess was wed at the age of eighteen to Clovis, King of the Franks, who the legends say fell in love with her beauty.
King Clovis and Queen Clothilde unified the various peoples under Frankish rule by spreading the Catholic faith. The royal couple made Paris their capital, and from Belgium to the Mediterranean they founded churches and monasteries. For centuries to come, the people who would become the nation of France were the leaders of Christian civilization in Western Europe. Illustrated.
Blandine Malé and Hélène Fabe-Henriet have higher degrees in history, geography, classics and literature from French universities. Both women taught for many years in prestigious French secondary schools.